American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (H.R. 7)
Status: Energy components of the plan passed the House on February 16, 2012 with a bipartisan vote of 237 to 187.
February 1, 2012 -
The American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act (set to be H.R. 7) wouldlink new American energy production to high-priority infrastructure projects. This common sense jobs plan 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.
The energy portion of the bill would expand access to American offshore and onshore energy resources - creating over a million new American jobs, lowering gasoline prices, reducing our dependence on foreign sources of energy, and raising new revenue.
Offshore Energy Production. The plan would require the Administration to move forward with new offshore energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources – including the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast and portions of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. It requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that have been delayed or cancelled. It establishes fair and equitable revenue sharing for coastal states. Click here to learn more.
ANWR. The plan would open less than 3 percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to responsible energy development by directing the Interior Secretary to establish lease sales in the North Slope. The North Slope of ANWR was specifically set aside in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter and Congress for oil and natural gas development. ANWR contains approximately 10.4 billion barrels of oil and at peak production could supply the U.S. with up to 1.45 million barrels of oil per day. Click here to learn more.
Oil Shale. The plan would create new American jobs by setting clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promoting shale technology research and development. It directs the Secretary of the Interior to issue additional Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) and commercial leases and makes permanent the Resource Management Plan amendments and commercial oil shale regulations published guidelines by the Department in November 2008. Click here to learn more.
Expanding U.S. Offshore Energy Production
This energy component of the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act will expand U.S. offshore energy production in order to create over 1.2 million American jobs, lower energy prices, strengthen national security and help fund new infrastructure that will support long-term job growth.
This common sense American jobs plan removes federal government barriers that block production of our own U.S. energy resources. It requires the Administration to move forward with new offshore energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources – including the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast and Eastern Gulf of Mexico. It also requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and offshore Virginia that have been delayed or cancelled by the Obama Administration.
Specifically, the Energy Security and Transportation Jobs Act will:
Require that each five-year offshore leasing plan include lease sales in the areas containing the greatest known oil and natural gas reserves. For the 2012-2017 plan being written by the Obama Administration, the areas with the greatest known reserves are specifically defined as those estimated to contain 2.5 billion barrels of oil or 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Currently, the Obama Administration’s 2012-2017 draft plan includes no new drilling, only possible future lease sales in the Gulf. The requirements to lease in these most prospective offshore areas reverses the Administration’s effective moratorium on opening new areas.
Require the Secretary to establish a production goal when writing a five-year plan. The goal will be the specific amount of oil and natural gas production that is estimated to result from leases made under the plan. Establishes the production goal for the 2012-2017 plan being written by the Obama Administration at 3 million barrels of oil per day and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2027. This 2012-2027 time frame encompasses the fifteen year period of the five-year plan and resulting ten-year leases made under that plan. By comparison to today’s levels, this increase in oil equates to a tripling of current American offshore production and would reduce foreign imports by nearly one-third.
Require the following lease sales that were delayed or canceled by the Obama Administration to occur before September 1, 2012 or within one year after enactment of the bill: lease sale #220 off the Virginia Coast, Gulf of Mexico lease sales #216 and #222, and lease sale #214 in the North Aleutian Basin of Alaska.
Provide the Secretary of the Interior with the flexibility to issue further lease sales regardless of their inclusion in the 5-year leasing plan in effect at the time.
Gradually and responsibly conduct three lease sales in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Promote new energy leasing and production off the coast of California using existing infrastructure, which will allow new energy resources to be developed without using new rigs or equipment.
Establish fair and equitable revenue sharing of offshore revenues for coastal states, including U.S. territories. It keeps in place the current Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) revenue sharing and phases-in a new 37.5 percent revenue sharing percentage to other coastal states when energy is produced off their shores in federal waters.
Allows state’s Governor to request to opt-in to a five-year leasing plan and the Secretary of the Interior will include a lease sale, or sales, of the state’s offshore area in the plan.
Require the Secretary to encourage the use of U.S. workers and equipment in all construction related to energy and mineral development on the OCS.
This energy component of the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act will expand U.S. oil and natural gas production, create tens of thousands of jobs and generate billions of dollars in new revenue by opening less than 3% of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to responsible energy development.
The North Slope of ANWR was specifically set aside in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter and Congress for oil and natural gas development. This land isnot designated as Wilderness.
According to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, ANWR contains approximately 10.4 billion barrels of oil and at peak production could supply the U.S. with up to 1.45 million barrels of oil per day. This is more than the U.S. imports daily from Saudi Arabia.
Safely and responsibly developing our own American energy resources in ANWR will help reduce our dependence on foreign oil. According to the Energy Information Administration, crude oil imports will decline by one barrel for every barrel of ANWR oil production.
Advancements in technology allow for energy production to occur safely and with minimal environmental impact. For example, new extended reach drilling allows for one single drilling platform to cover an underground radius of 20,000 ft - larger than the size of Washington D.C.
There is strong support from Alaska Natives for energy production in ANWR due to the jobs and economic benefits it will bring to their communities, including from the Village of Kaktovik - the only town within the coastal plain of ANWR.
Specifically, the Alaskan Energy for American Jobs Act will:
Open 400,000 acres of ANWR’s North Slope - less than 3% of ANWR’s total acreage - for responsible energy production.
Direct the Interior Secretary to establish lease sales in the North Slope of at least 50,000 acres within 22 months of enactment and hold subsequent lease sales of at least 50,000 acres at 6, 12 and 18 month intervals. Require the lease schedule to be repeated two years later.
Ensure there is a minimal environmental footprint by requiring that the land used for production and support facilities does not exceed 10,000 acres for each 100,000 acres of area leased.
Protect the environment by directing the Secretary of the Interior to administer this Act in a way that ensures no significant adverse impacts to fish, wildlife, habitat, or the environment and that the best commercially available technology is used for energy production. It also gives the Secretary the authority to set aside environmentally “special areas” where development would be limited.
Require an Environmental Impact Statement to be completed before conducting the first lease sale.
Allow the Secretary to close portions of the Coastal Plain, on a seasonal basis, to drilling activities for protection of caribou, fish and other wildlife based on best available science.
Set stringent reclamation and rehabilitation requirements for land impacted by oil and natural gas development.
Ensure local residents have access to public lands for traditional uses and minimizes effects upon hunting, fishing and trapping.
Establish that no oil produced under the leases shall be exported.
Require the Secretary to encourage the use of U.S. workers and equipment in all construction related to energy development.
This energy component of the American Energy & Infrastructure Jobs Act will create new American jobs by setting clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promoting shale technology research and development.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the U.S. holds more than half of the world’s oil shale resources. The largest known deposits of oil shale are located in a 16,000-square mile area in the Green River formation in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
The USGS estimates show the region may hold more than 1.5 trillion barrels of oil – six times Saudi Arabia’s proven resources, and enough to provide the United States with energy for the next 200 years.
Since taking office the Obama Administration has repeatedly hindered oil shale development, preventing the production of this new energy resource and blocking the creation of thousands of American jobs. This bill will provide greater certainty to U.S. job-creators and encourage them to invest in new technology.
Specifically, the PIONEERS Act will:
Direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue additional Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) leases within 180 days after enactment according to the lease terms published on January 15, 2009.
Direct the Secretary of the Interior to issue at least 5 separate commercial lease sales by January 1, 2016.
Make permanent the Resource Management Plan amendments and commercial oil shale regulations published guidelines by the Department in November 2008 and apply them to all commercial leasing for the management of federally owned oil shale. This will provide regulatory certainty to companies looking to invest in oil shale.
Require the Secretary when practicable to encourage the use of U.S. workers and equipment in all construction related to energy and mineral development.