Lots of things happening this week on the oil/gasoline front. First off we have passage of H.R. 1229 which would end the Obama Administrationâ€™s De Facto Offshore Drilling Moratorium in Gulf of Mexico. Then we have consideration of H.R. 1231 which would end Obama’s offshore drilling moratorium.
H.R. 1229 was passed with a bipartisan vote of 263 to 163. Introduced by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings, H.R. 1229 will end the Obama Administrationâ€™s de facto drilling moratorium in a safe, responsible, transparent manner â€“ putting thousands of Americans back to work and increasing American energy production to help address rising gasoline prices.
â€œThis bill will provide relief to the people of the Gulf of Mexico by allowing them to finally return to work following the Obama Administrationâ€™s intentional slow-walking of drilling permits,â€ said Chairman Hastings [Natural Resources Committee chair, (R-WA).] â€œWith passage of this bill, House Republicans are sending a strong signal that we will not sit idly by while the Obama Administration sidelines American workers, sends American jobs overseas and continues to lock-up our American energy resources at a time of rising gasoline prices. I applaud the House for passing the Putting the Gulf back to Work Act and hope the Senate follows our lead to ease the economic pain in the Gulf of Mexico and help reduce gasoline prices across the country.
- Improves safety by reforming current law to 1) require lease holders to receive an approved permit to drill before drilling an offshore well and 2) require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a safety review.* Sets a firm 30 day timeline (with two 15 day extensions) for the Secretary to act on a permit to drill. 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.
- Provides 30 days, with no extension, for the Secretary to restart Gulf permits that were approved before the Administrationâ€™s moratorium was imposed on May 27, 2010. If the Secretary fails to act, the leases will be put into suspension (the clock stops ticking on the time-limited lease) until a decision is made.
- Establishes an expedited judicial review process for resolving lawsuits relating to Gulf permits. This reform ensures that ending the de facto moratorium imposed by the Obama Administration isnâ€™t replaced by paralyzing, frivolous lawsuits that could take years to resolve.
Next we have H.R. 1231:
- The Reversing President Obamaâ€™s Offshore Moratorium Act will lift the Presidentâ€™s ban on new offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to move forward on American energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources.
- Require that each five-year offshore leasing plan include lease sales in the areas containing the greatest known oil and natural gas reserves.
- A stateâ€™s Governor may request to opt-in to a five-year leasing plan and the Secretary of Interior will include a lease sale, or sales, of the stateâ€™s offshore area in the plan.
- Require the Secretary to establish a production goal when writing a five-year plan. The goal will be the specific amount of oil and natural gas production that is estimated to result from leases made under the plan. Establishes the production goal for the 2012-2017 plan being written by the Obama Administration at 3 million barrels of oil per day and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2027. This 2012-2027 time encompasses the fifteen year period of the five-year plan and resulting ten-year leases made under that plan. By comparison to todayâ€™s levels, this increase in oil equates to a tripling of current American offshore production and would reduce foreign imports by nearly one-third.
H.R. 1231 will generate $800 million in revenue over 10 years according to the Congressional Budget Office.
But we have a problem. I visited the Alaska pipeline in Fairbanks about 5 years ago. It is an engineering marvel which may be at risk. Less oil coming out through the pipeline because of companies pulling out of Alaska, namely Shell for one because of EPA regs, means colder temperatures and risk of freezing.
Now, dwindling oil production along Alaska’s northern edge means the pipeline carries less than one-third the volume it once didâ€”and the crude takes five times as long to get to its destination.
The crude within the pipeline can reach 40 degrees causing clogs and backlogs. All at the behest of the Obama administration and his over-zealous EPA regs which cause oil companies to throw up their hands in frustration.
Hopefully letting the public know what is happening and bringing insight to why gasoline prices are higher will put pressure on the present administration to reverse their job-killing, domestic energy-killing practices which will add to more jobs and employment, get people off of government subsistence and add to our national security.
Crossposted at Conservative Outlooks.