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Hastings: Americans Cannot Afford to Delay New Oil and Gas Development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 10, 2009 - House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Republican Doc Hastings issued the following statement today responding to Interior Secretary Salazar’s announcement to delay the 5-year plan for oil and gas development on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf:

“It’s disappointing that Interior Department is choosing to delay new exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf when we must be focused on growing the economy and putting people to work. It’s time to stop delaying and get moving on a plan that will stimulate the economy, create jobs and make the less dependent on oil controlled by foreign countries.

“The President is stressing the need to stimulate the economy and today said that hurting Americans ‘need action and they need it now.’ Unfortunately, the Secretary of Interior is delaying the kind of action that Americans urgently need. There are thousands of jobs associated with energy exploration that are ready to go now.

“The current process isn’t broken, nor is it a last minute proposal. The original Draft Proposal Plan was announced in August 2008. There is nothing the Secretary announced (resource assessments, impact reviews, etc) that is different than what is already a part of the 5-year plan process.

“The American people have spoken and they are ready for more domestic energy production and the high paying jobs it creates.”

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Contact: Jill Strait (202) 226-2311

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