Update 5/5/11 House passes H.R. 1230
Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, with a bipartisan vote of 266 to 149. Introduced by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, H.R. 1230 requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that have been delayed or cancelled by the Obama Administration.
Original post begins below.
I had the pleasure today to speak with Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) House Deputy Whip and Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee regarding their legislation to rein in skyrocketing gasoline prices and restore offshore drilling. Today they announced H.E.A.T. The House Energy Action Team.
In Toledo this day it’s $4.20. I read in Chicago it’s $4.50.
House Republicans are committed to addressing Americaâ€™s rising gasoline prices, boosting American energy production and stopping the Obama Administrationâ€™s policies that are driving up gasoline prices. Chairman Hastings has introduced three bills in the House which would create good-paying American energy jobs, make the US less dependent in the long run on foreign oil and also address our national security issues.
With the crises unfolding in the Middle East it is imperative that America become as much energy independent as possible. OPEC controls 45% of the world’s oil and if put into law the following three bills could reduce our foreign energy dependence by 1/3:
- H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act would end the Obama Administrationâ€™s de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico in a safe, responsible, transparent manner and would provide certainty by putting businesses back to work producing American energy. This law would require the Secretary of the Interior to act on a permit to drill within 30 days of receiving an application. This simply requires the Secretary to act within the set period of time â€“ it is not a requirement that permits be approved. This firm timeline will make certain that the Obama Administration cannot impose a moratorium through deliberate inaction. The government must provide an answer â€“ it canâ€™t stonewall and put thousands of Americans out of work. If need be the time can be extended for 2, 15 day periods.
- H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act would require the Obama Administration to promptly conduct offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that the Administration has previously delayed or canceled. Before George W. Bush left office he had approved 3 lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and one off the coast of Virginia. All 4 have been revoked by the Obama administration.
- H.R. 1231. Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act. This bill if passed would amend the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act to require that each 5-year offshore oil and gas leasing program offer leasing in the areas with the most prospective oil and gas resources and to establish a domestic oil and natural gas production goal. The U.S. has a wealth of oil and this would require companies to get leases and drill where there are known resources rather than wasting dollars in areas that have not been defined as having oil.
This quote from Chairman Hastings:
Instead of increasing taxes on American energy like President Obama has suggested, these bills are common sense approaches to ensuring America develops our own energy resources and are less dependent on unstable foreign countries.
Chairman Hastings is confident he has bipartisan support for these bills. Rep Hastings stated on the call Rep. Dan Boren (D-OK) has told him that President Obama is completely uninformed about the urgency of the US energy situation and our need to become energy independent.
Of note is as soon as George W. Bush lifted the moratorium on off-shore drilling in 2008 gas prices immediately dropped dramatically from the average $4 per gallon.
Rep. Hastings & Rep. Roskam reiterated: as soon as the US makes dramatic moves to increase the production of her own reserves, the market will respond most favorably for the US consumer and send a stern message to OPEC.
Lowering gas prices and putting people back to work will increase government revenue, increase the amount of dollars consumers have to spend on other products thus creating a better environment for the oil and gas industry and the US economy as a whole.
Promoted from Dispatches by the editors.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks