House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) on May 30 released draft legislation to expand U.S. offshore energy production in order to create new American jobs, lower energy prices, grow our economy, and strengthen national security.
The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act would remove government barriers that block production of our own domestic energy resources. It would require the Administration to implement a new five-year offshore leasing plan that includes areas containing the greatest oil and natural gas resources, require the Department of the Interior to hold offshore lease sales that were delayed or canceled by the Obama Administration, and extends revenue sharing to all coastal states. The draft legislation would also implement reforms to further enhance the accountability, efficiency, safety and ethical standards of offshore energy operations. Similar provisions were included in legislation introduced last Congress, many of which were passed by the House with broad, bipartisan support.
"For over four years, President Obama has done his very best to block new American offshore energy production. He has canceled lease sales, effectively re-imposed a drilling moratorium, and implemented a short-sighted plan that closes the majority of our offshore areas, including the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, and parts of the Arctic, to new energy production," said Chairman Hastings. "The Obama Administration has said ‘no’ to new energy and ‘no’ to new jobs, but House Republicans are once again saying ‘yes.’ This legislation is a pro-energy, pro-jobs plan that will strengthen our economy and increase our energy security by responsibly and safely harnessing our vast offshore energy resources."
The Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources will hold a legislative hearing on this draft bill on Thursday, June 6th.
The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act
Title I – Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Program Reforms
Opens new offshore areas to energy production by requiring the Obama Administration to submit a new lease plan by 2015 for developing the United States’ offshore energy resources. The Obama Administration’s current five-year plan keeps 85 percent of our offshore areas off-limits to energy production.
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