Wednesday, February 4, 2009

House Republicans Urge President Obama Not to Block Deep Ocean Energy Production

Led by Reps. Kevin Brady (R-TX) and John Shimkus (R-IL), House Republican Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and dozens of his colleagues wrote to President Barack Obama, urging him not to lock up job-producing oil and gas resources in the nation’s deep ocean energy reserves. The Members wrote as the President and Interior Department are considering closing down the Outer Continental Shelf to environmentally-safe energy exploration.

“As you know, at the height of our nation’s energy crisis last year, the American people spoke with one voice to express their outrage when they saw that not only were we dependent upon foreign oil, but furthermore, that energy resources located within American territory were locked away and could not be developed,” wrote the Members. “Our national vulnerability was on plain display for the American public last summer because we lacked a coherent energy policy to allow for responsible energy exploration and development.”

Rep. Brady and his House GOP colleagues noted that deep ocean energy exploration is not just essential to bringing down energy costs, but critical to job creation as well. House Republicans support an “all of the above” energy strategy that would increase environmentally-safe oil and gas production, encourage more energy conservation and efficiency, and promote greater use of alternative fuels – a strategy that could create more than a million new jobs. A recent ICF International study concluded that developing the untapped energy resources in the OCS alone would create more than 160,000 jobs by the year 2030. Additionally, it is estimated that $1.7 trillion in government revenue would be raised from tapping the billions of barrels of oil and trillions of cubic feet of natural gas far off the American coasts.

“Our country needs to remain on the path to American energy independence, and we believe this is a critical and achievable goal,” the leaders concluded. “Energy exploration means more jobs and stronger national security, nothing less is at stake. We respectfully urge that you allow the five-year offshore drilling plan to continue because it is vital to our economy. Moreover, energy exploration can be achieved responsibly with the needs of our environment in mind.”

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