Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) speaks on the Houes Floor in support of American jobs and energy independence
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Note: The bill was debated on the House Floor today, and is scheduled for a Floor vote tomorrow.
Congressman Doug Lamborn (CO-05) delivered the following floor statement today in support of H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act:
While the U.S. is blessed with a bounty of energy resources, we are also saddled with an administration that is intent on creating barriers to our energy security and economic prosperity. This is why, Mr. Chairman, I rise in strong support of H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, to require the President to implement a new five-year plan that includes the areas containing the greatest known oil and natural gas resources. This is not a “drill anywhere and everywhere” bill, but rather a targeted approach that focuses on specific areas where we know the most energy resources are located.
The bill also requires specific lease sales to be held off of Virginia, which was originally scheduled to take place in 2011, and South Carolina. In both states there is strong bipartisan support from the public, the Congressional delegation and the governor for drilling off their coasts.
Finally, the bill implements important reforms to strengthen the safety, accountability and efficiency of the federal government’s offshore energy agencies and establishes a fair revenue sharing program for all coastal states. Both provisions would further encourage the safe, expanded production of offshore energy.
Mr. Chairman, high gas prices hurt all of us and the impacts are felt every day. Families are forced to make tough choices in their budgets, schools run fewer buses, and the costs of business goes up forcing companies to hire fewer workers. But the concerns of Americana’s energy consumers, the nation’s small business and families, have largely been ignored by this administration.
When President Obama took office, nearly all of our offshore areas were open to energy production and the Obama administration had the tremendous opportunity for the first time in more than a generation to open new areas of the OCS for oil and gas drilling. Available to them for the first time since 1982, was the opportunity to access billions of barrels of oil that had been held closed under lock and key for decades.
Instead of jumping on this opportunity to increase our energy security, President Obama discarded a plan to develop these new areas, canceled lease sales and closed off 85% of our OCS regions, dashing the hopes and economic opportunity for the people in states like Virginia. In fact, the Obama plan put forward the lowest number of lease sales since the Carter Administration.
Nearly one year later, we are here today to once again attempt to change the course upon which this Administration has set our nation and our energy future. Recently, the Energy Information Administration issued their report for energy production on federal lands for fiscal year 2012 – it is no surprise that the sale of crude on federal lands decreased 5 percent in 2012 – with an 8 percent decrease in federal offshore volumes.
While this Administration seems content with the status quo, this legislation is about making the right choices now to foster new access and new energy in the future. H.R. 2231 makes it clear that waiting until 2017 is too long for new energy production.
Increased American energy production is one of the best ways to create new American jobs, strengthen the economy and generate new revenue to help tackle the national debt. We cannot keep ignoring the vast resources potential of the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf. I applaud Chairman Hastings for his leadership on this issue and I encourage all of my colleagues to support this critical legislation.