January 26, 2012
Today, President Obama made a “major announcement,” in what otherwise must be a slow day for the White House, by moving forward with offshore lease sales that were scheduled before he even took office. The rather banal “major announcement” does not open any new offshore areas for energy production but combines a lease sale delayed for a year by the Obama Administration (216 Central Gulf of Mexico 2011) and a lease sale scheduled for this year by the previous Administration (222 Central Gulf of Mexico 2012). Since elected, President Obama has delayed or canceled multiple lease sales, including #220 off the Virginia Coast, which was scheduled for 2011 and is now delayed indefinitely. These delays have destroyed jobs, caused a decline in American oil and natural gas production and harmed local economies.
“This Administration has repeatedly delayed or canceled lease sales that have cost jobs, reduced energy production and hurt local economies. Announcing a scheduled lease sale that doesn’t open any new areas for energy production and that should have happened a year ago shouldn’t be a ‘major announcement.’ Unfortunately, President Obama seems to be in full campaign mode, taking credit for inherited energy successes of his predecessors and attempting to create undeserved fanfare for routine offshore energy lease sales that do not open any new areas for energy production,” said Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. “This Administration is simply taking credit for windfalls created by Clinton and Bush era energy policies that actually produced new American energy, rather than President Obama’s restrictive, job destroying policies.”