Drill, Finally, Drill!

Doc Hastings, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, introduced legislation today to try to reverse some of the Obama administration’s anti-energy policies:

The Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act would end the Obama Administration’s de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico in a safe, responsible, transparent manner by setting firm time-lines for considering permits to drill, which provide certainty and allow employers and workers to get back on the job.
The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act would require the Obama Administration to move forward promptly to conduct offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that the Obama Administration has delayed or canceled. Due to the Obama Administration’s actions, in 2011 there will be no offshore lease sales – the first time since 1958. [Emphasis added: Ed.]
The Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act would lift the President’s ban on new offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to move forward in the 2012-2017 lease plan with energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources.

Chairman Hastings added:

These bills will directly reverse Obama Administration actions that have locked-up America’s vast offshore oil and natural gas resources. The bills will end the de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico and allow people to return to work, require lease sales to be held that were canceled or delayed by the Obama Administration, and lift the Obama Administration’s ban on new offshore drilling by directing production to occur in areas with the most oil and natural gas resources. In contrast to the President’s drill nowhere new plan, this is a drill smart plan.

There is more to come:

Republicans have taken a pledge against passing large, comprehensive bills and instead we’ll work to advance solutions through individual, specific bills. America needs an all-of-the-above energy approach. We will soon introduce bills focused on renewable energy, onshore production, hydropower, coal, and critical minerals that are vital to renewable energy and new technology.

The House Republicans’ effort is coming just in time, as an Interior Department report issued today says that “more than two-thirds of offshore oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico are sitting idle.” Those idled leases are estimated to hold more than 11 billion barrels of oil and 50 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
I don’t think the Obama administration is actually trying to hurt our economy. But on a remarkable number of fronts, they are taking exactly the actions that one would choose if one were trying to damage the economy.


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