Over the past several months, the Natural Resource Committee has held several hearings to discuss President Obama’s proposed 2012-2017 offshore lease plan. House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings announced on Monday the proposed legislation H.R. 6082, the Congressional Replacement of President Obama’s Energy-Restricted and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan.
The purpose of the bill is to execute a new lease plan for developing offshore energy resources in the United States during the next five years. This legislation is aimed at replacing the Obama Administration’s offshore drilling plan, which was recently unveiled on June 28th. According to officials, Obama’s proposal would prevent the production of roughly 85 percent of America’s offshore regions.
Under the current Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Act, the President’s offshore drilling plan will not go into effect until it withstands a 60-day Congressional review as required by law. During this time-frame, House Republicans intend to devise a replacement solution that fosters American energy and jobs while maintaining an environmentally sound focus.
The Obama Administration has fallen under scrutiny for preventing oil and natural gas production projects in the United States. Nevertheless, domestic oil and natural gas production has dramatically increased in recent years despite little federal support and a lack of drilling on federal lands or waters. However, the Interior Department recently reported that energy development on federal lands contributed $275 billion to the economy in 2011 and created 1.5 million jobs.
A markup of the Obama Administration’s offshore drilling plan will be held by the full committee on Wednesday July 18th. Chairman Hasting’s bill proposes a leasing plan schedule that includes lease sales in new areas such as the Mid-Atlantic off Virginia – a lease sale area previously cancelled by President Obama in 2011. The list is comprised of regions that are known to have the largest confirmed amounts of oil and natural gas resources.
TAP Management and other domestic energy suppliers are anticipating a more favorable, long-term energy solution that will provide Americans with more affordable energy and create thousands of jobs. A realistic approach to our growing energy demands, combined with a shared vision from our political officials, will make the United States one step closer to achieving energy independence.
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