Thursday, May 05, 2011

Doc Hastings Presses Forward on Energy Legislation

I write frequently on the subject of energy production. It is the world in which I live, so someone has to speak up and encourage others to get involved. Thankfully, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings is a champ at pursuing necessary legislation to get the Gulf of Mexico's offshore energy sector back to work.

I was able to listen in on a conference call Wednesday with Chairman Hastings and Rep Peter Roskam, Chief Deputy Whip. They explained the three bills moving forward - HB 1229 "Putting the Gulf Back to Work", HB 1230 on lease sales, and HB 1231 on long term plans to drill where known resources are.

Included in HR 1229 is a welcome provision that demands a 30 day time frame for the permit decisions to be made and then two 15 day extensions, if necessary. This will stop the continual languishing of permits in Washington as this administration pursues it's far left ideological agenda of shutting down offshore oil and gas drilling completely. You may remember just before the tragic Deepwater Horizon explosion, President Obama reluctantly agreed to open up Outer Continental Shelf drilling in places like Virginia and along the east coast. This was quickly cancelled in the aftermath of the April, 2010 explosion in the Gulf of Mexico.

After a lease is given the ok, in HR 1230, the permit process would move forward and this would eliminate the doubt expressed by oil drilling companies with the current process. If doubts are eliminated and the process is streamlined, people can be re-hired and put back to work in a timely manner. It means companies can plan out activity.

For the first year since 1958 no new lease has been issued.

HR 1231 encourages smart drilling. It outlines long term planning to drill where the resources are known to be - where a large field is discovered.

Chairman Hastings said these three bills, known as American Energy Initiative, would be voted on this week in the House. He expects passage with bi-partisan support. He stated that the bills would lower gas prices, increase revenue through job creation, and promote energy independence.

Realistically speaking, it is doubtful that should the bills move out of the Senate with a green light that President Obama would sign them into law. It is a sharp contrast to his approach to energy production. It is aggressive and speaks truth to power.

It is well past time for action. Thanks now to Speaker Boehner, Republicans lead the way:

Speaker Boehner's press office released the following update on energy legislation moving through the House of Representatives:

By a vote of 266-149, the Republican-led House of Representatives just passed the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230). This is American Energy Initiative legislation that will help address soaring gas prices and create new jobs by increasing offshore energy production.

H.R. 1230 is the most recent bill in the American Energy Initiative, and it requires the Secretary of the Interior to move forward and conduct offshore energy lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Virginia that have been delayed or canceled by the Obama Administration. This is critical with gas prices rapidly reaching $4 throughout much of the country.

The House has also passed the Energy Tax Prevention Act, common-sense legislation that prevents the EPA from imposing a “cap and trade” national energy tax that will drive prices up further and destroy American jobs.

Go to the new Facebook page House Energy Action Team and stay informed on the progress.

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