September 8, 2011
In advance of President Obama’s speech, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings delivered the following opening statement at today’s Full Committee hearing
, offering 10 specific ideas to create new American energy jobs:
“Later this evening, President Obama will appear before a joint session of Congress to once again give a speech on jobs and our economy.
With unemployment still near 10 percent, it’s fair to ask the question – what will be different this time? We’ve experienced his failed policies and lofty rhetoric before. But we haven’t seen results.
Perhaps that’s because every jobs plan the President has put forth thus far has failed to recognize one of the most important keys to economic growth – American energy production.
I hope tonight will be different and that he uses this as an opportunity to promote our Nation’s energy resources and realizes their potential to create jobs and grow the economy.
This Committee has worked in a bipartisan manner to advance numerous job-creating ideas. Here are 10 that I hope the President will consider:
- Allow people in the Gulf of Mexico to return to work. It’s been nearly one year since the moratorium in the Gulf was officially lifted, but people and businesses are still struggling to make ends meet. The House passed bipartisan legislation that would set firm time-lines and allow workers to get back on the job.
- Resume canceled or delayed offshore energy leases. The bipartisan H.R. 1230 would require the Obama Administration to promptly conduct offshore lease sales in the Gulf and offshore Virginia that were delayed or canceled. Moving forward with the Virginia lease sale could create 2,000 jobs.
- Lift the ban on new offshore drilling. When President Obama took office, nearly all of our offshore areas were open to new energy production. Since then, he has essentially re-imposed an offshore drilling moratorium. H.R. 1231 would require the Administration to move forward in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources. This could create up to 1.2 million jobs.
- Increase production in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska. Although President Obama has called for annual lease sales in the NPR-A, this will have little impact if bureaucratic delays continue to block the construction of necessary infrastructure needed to transport the energy out of the Reserve. H.R. 2150 would create new jobs by ensuring our NPR-A resources are developed and transported in a timely manner.
- Allow production in a small portion of ANWR. As I stated yesterday, responsibly developing ANWR’s resources should be considered by the Joint Committee as a way to generate billions in new revenue and create tens of thousands of jobs.
- Provide certainty to U.S. businesses looking to develop our U.S. oil shale resources. The U.S. has tremendous oil shale resources – possibly more than 1.5 trillion barrels of oil – but the Obama Administration has repeatedly delayed and hindered oil shale development. This is preventing the creation of thousands of American jobs.
- Eliminate bureaucratic roadblocks to renewable energy production on federal lands. Renewable energy sources are an integral part of an all-of-the-above energy approach. Unfortunately, bureaucratic delays, lawsuits and burdensome regulations frequently impede our ability to harness these resources. H.R. 2170, approved by this Committee with bipartisan support, would promote the timely and efficient production of renewable energy.
- Streamline the process for approving offshore and onshore wind projects. Wind projects are frequently delayed for years and are required to jump through hurdles to set up temporary towers to simply test wind levels. Legislation introduced by Reps. Wittman and Noem would help speed job creation and the production of clean, renewable wind energy.
- Reduce redundant steps that impede geothermal production. Current law requires each geothermal exploration hole to go through an individual environmental review and approval process, which can take 10 months to two years to complete. H.R. 2171 by Rep. Labrador would establish a common sense, streamlined policy for the development of geothermal energy that will create jobs.
- Do not ban the use of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing on federal lands. Thousands of American jobs could be created by developing our natural gas resources on federal lands. But these jobs may never be realized if the Obama Administration bans or imposes burdensome regulations on the use of this technology.
House Republicans have introduced numerous job-creating energy bills and we’re ready to work with President Obama on advancing common sense proposals to harness our energy resources. We cannot forfeit this incredible opportunity that American energy presents to create jobs, strengthen our economy, generate new revenue and protect our national security.”
Printable PDF of this document