To: Sen Jeff Merkley, Sen Ron Wyden, Rep Suzanne Bonamici, Rep Jaime Herrera Beutler, Rep Earl Blumenauer, Rep Kurt Schrader
This week, the House will vote on the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act (H.R. 2231). Introduced by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), the bill would revise existing laws and policies regarding the development of oil and gas resources on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) by: 1) directing the Department of the Interior (DOI) to adopt a new leasing plan for the 2015-2020 period; 2) requiring auctions of leases in certain areas in the Atlantic and Pacific OCS; 3) reducing the department’s discretion regarding which regions would be included in future lease sales; and 4) ensuring some of the offsetting receipts from leases issued in newly available areas would be sent to states. The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act would allow the United States to take better advantage of an incredible amount of natural resources in the outer Continental Shelf area, which is considered to have the largest undiscovered, technically recoverable oil and gas resources. Heritage has explained the government needs to move aside and let private industry operate freely, especially in light of the weak U.S. economy. Doing so would help create jobs and increase our domestic oil production, which would in turn save American families money. Given President Obama’s bold and reckless actions on regulating energy production, it is important to note this legislation takes steps to reduce some of the onerous regulations and regulatory risks imposed by the federal government. This legislation will give companies the certainty they need to expand job creation and increase America’s energy supply. The bill would reduce costs to taxpayers according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), which estimates that it would reduce net direct spending by $1.5 billion over the 2014-2023 period.
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