Saturday, November 26, 2011

American Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act

Given the opportunity, the domestic oil and gas industry is a job creator.

The American Petroleum Institute recently commissioned a study by the Wood Mackenzie consulting firm, which estimated that better federal energy policy would create an additional 1.4 million jobs by 2030.

But this President and his willing lackeys in the Department of Interior and the Department of Energy have made the conscious decision to work diligently to destroy the domestic oil and gas industry.

Yet earlier this month the Interior Department released a new five-year plan that puts most of the Outer Continental Shelf off-limits for oil drilling. And the Administration has delayed for at least another year the Keystone XL pipeline that is shovel-ready to create 20,000 new direct, pipeline-related jobs.

The Office of Natural Resources Revenue recently noted that federal revenue from offshore bonus bids (from lease sales) in fiscal 2011 was merely $36 million—down from $9.5 billion in fiscal 2008. The Obama Administration has managed the nearly impossible feat of turning energy policy into a money loser, pouring taxpayer dollars into green-energy busts like Solyndra. The Washington Post reported in September that Mr. Obama's $38.6 billion green loan program had created a mere 3,500 jobs over two years. He had predicted it would "save or create" 65,000.

Speaker Boehner's office released the following on GOP efforts to advance domestic oil and gas production:

In the coming weeks, House Republicans will formally introduce the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (set to be H.R. 7), which would link new American energy production to high-priority infrastructure projects. Instead of more ‘stimulus’ spending or wasteful earmarks, the bill would permanently remove government barriers to American energy production and use the revenues to repair and improve America’s roads and bridges – both of which support long-term job growth. Republicans expect to move the bill through the House before the end of the year.

The American Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act is the latest measure in the House GOP American Energy Initiative, an ongoing effort to support job creation and lower energy prices for families and businesses by allowing increased production of American-made energy. This measure would help create millions of new American jobs by eliminating some of the unnecessary government barriers that prevent our country from utilizing its vast energy resources, and also provide a new revenue stream for infrastructure repair and improvement. Specifically, the American Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act includes:

* The Energy Security and Transportation Jobs Act, introduced by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH), which would lift President Obama’s drilling ban on new offshore areas by requiring the administration to lease offshore areas estimated to contain the most oil and natural gas resources.

* The Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security Act (“PIONEERS” Act), introduced by Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CA), which would set clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promote shale technology research and development.

* The Alaskan Energy for American Jobs Act, introduced by Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Rep. Don Young (R-AK), which would open less than three percent of ANWR’s 19 million acres in the North Slope, an area that was specifically set aside by Congress and President Jimmy Carter, for oil and natural gas development

And this:

Rather than relying on ‘stimulus’ spending, higher taxes and short-term gimmicks, the American Energy Infrastructure Jobs Act would build on the natural link between energy production and infrastructure. The measure provides responsible infrastructure funding for the next five years, and links new energy revenue from production of American energy to the Highway Trust Fund. Specifically, the bill would:

* Fund High-Priority Projects. The bill would remove federal requirements that currently force states to spend highway money on non-highway activities, helping to ensure that our nation’s highways and bridges are repaired and properly maintained and that federal dollars are spent on our most critical infrastructure needs.

* Speed Up Bureaucratic Approvals. The bill would speed up bureaucratic approvals and streamline the project delivery process – the real hurdles delaying improvements to highways, bridges, and other projects – with reforms like concurrent review that will cut the project review and permitting process in half.

* Eliminate Needless Programs. The bill would eliminate and consolidate nearly 70 surface transportation programs that are either duplicative or not in the federal interest.

* Embrace More Private-Sector Involvement. The bill would reform financing programs to increase private sector involvement in infrastructure.

* Enhance Safety Programs. The bill would strengthen safety programs and gives states more flexibility to develop innovative safety initiatives that save lives.

* Include No Earmarks. Like every bill passed through the House since the American people entrusted Republicans with a majority, this one will have no earmarks in it.

This is more legislation coming from the House GOP, who have been leading with common sense job creation bills. Unfortunately, the Democratically controlled Senate has refused to take up any of the twenty plus job creating bills passed by the House.

No comments: