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Natural Resources Subcommittee to Hold Hearing on Offshore Drilling Legislation
Administration Refuses to Testify About Position on Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 8, 2009 - Tomorrow, the House Natural Resources Energy and Minerals Subcommittee will hold a hearing on “The American Conservation and Clean Energy Independence Act” (H.R. 2227), a bipartisan bill to expand offshore drilling by moving forward with the 2010-2015 Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) lease plan.  The bill is sponsored by Representatives Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Tim Murphy (R-PA).

Since taking office, the Obama Administration has delayed plans to increase American offshore energy production by mandating a six month delay on the 2010-2015 OCS lease plan.  As unemployment nears 10 percent and the Obama-Pelosi deficit tops $1 trillion, Republicans have called on the Administration to open additional areas to offshore drilling in order to create over 1.2 million jobs and generate $1.64 trillion in total federal tax revenue.  Unfortunately, the Administration has only responded with rhetoric – rather than real action to create more American energy and more jobs.

Tomorrow’s hearing is the perfect opportunity for the Obama Administration to prove that it truly supports a bipartisan plan to increase America’s oil and natural gas supplies. However, the Administration is not sending a single witness to testify and explain its position on this bipartisan offshore drilling bill and the status of the OCS lease plan.   Despite invitations from the Democrat majority, both Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Carol Browner, Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, declined to testify or send other Administration officials to testify on their behalf.

H.R. 2227 is a step in the right direction, but Republicans will continue to call on Democrats to pass an all-of-the-above energy plan, like the American Energy Act, that includes development of renewable energy sources, such as nuclear, wind, solar, hydropower, and biomass, while also producing more American-made oil and natural gas. 

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Contact: Emily Lawrimore or Jill Strait (202) 226-2311

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