What steps would our congress have to take to enable offshore drilling & shale exploration?

One congressman said today that the oil companies have leases they are not using. There have been some reports that these leases expire soon and that the taxes are exhorbitant from the places where the leases are presently. What gives? When are we going to get to the bottom of this?Is this crisis happening to suck the wealth from retirees today or is it just incompetence?