(CNN) – As House Republicans continue to focus on energy policy, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Rep. Jeb Hensarling of Texas launched a new Web site Tuesday that highlights October 1 as the day the congressional ban on offshore oil drilling will end unless Congress takes some action to continue the ban.
The site prominently features a YouTube video clip of DeMint and Hensarling discussing energy policy and encouraging the public to contact their representatives in Congress about lifting ban on offshore oil drilling and oil shale recovery. The site also contains a clock-like widget counting down the time until October 1. Visitors to the site can copy the HTML code for the widget so that they can embed the countdown clock on their own blogs or Web sites. Visitors can also sign an online petition on the site and read a blog about energy policy.
The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, also recently launched a Facebook application that allows users to add a gas-pump-shaped October 1 countdown clock to their profiles on the popular social networking site.
These online developments come on the heels of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s announcement Monday on Larry King Live that she would be open to holding a vote on offshore drilling if it were part of a larger energy package. Pelosi’s change in position echoes a similar change in position by Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. Since August 1, House Republicans have been staging a protest against Pelosi’s refusal to hold a vote on an energy bill before Congress’ five-week recess began.