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Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee Aren’t Hoodwinked by the Administration’s Faux-OCS Plan


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 1, 2010 - Yesterday, House Natural Resources Committee Republicans responded to President Obama’s announcement of a new plan for Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas exploration, which will lockup the majority of our offshore for future energy production.

“With this announcement, the Obama Administration is attempting to pull the wool over our eyes. President Obama’s rhetoric conveys support for increasing American oil and natural gas production, while the reality is he’s proposing a plan that will close more areas to drilling than it opens and the few areas still available won’t be open for years. President Obama’s plan is to make the American people wait longer and receive less – both for more American-made energy and new jobs. Hardly anyone would consider that a good deal – in fact, most would probably call it a clever trick.”Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member, Rep. Doc Hastings (WA-04)

“I am discouraged by President Obama’s energy announcement this morning. Lease sales in Alaska that have been included in previous plans are now completely off the table as well as the energy-rich coastline of California. Furthermore, leasing in the Outer Continental Shelf remains at a standstill. Last week, during a hearing of the Energy and Minerals Resources subcommittee, I asked Director of Mineral Management Services (MMS) Liz Birnbaum if she could assure the committee that a lease sale of any former moratoria areas would occur during President Obama’s administration. She could not make that guarantee. At best, the administration continues to slow-walk energy development. At worst, it continues to expand a self-imposed energy crisis. America desperately needs a robust ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy that utilizes our nation’s vast resources and generates thousands of American jobs.”Energy and Minerals Subcommittee Ranking Member, Rep. Doug Lamborn (CO-05)

“While the Obama Administration would have you believe it’s taking a balanced approach by opening limited access to U.S. waters for offshore energy development, the reality is that today’s announcement only opens a fraction of our abundant resources located throughout the deepwater OCS. Let there be no confusion: Today’s announcement will not create the jobs we desperately need. Today’s announcement will not spur the economic development our citizens deserve. And today’s announcement will not put us on the path to energy security. Slow-walking job creation during a time of economic crisis is not smart and taking tepid steps towards economic development and energy security is not balanced.”National Parks, Forest and Public Lands Subcommittee Ranking Member, Rep. Rob Bishop (UT-01)

"Nebraskans should not be fooled by the Administration's announcement today. While this is a small step in the right direction, it is an exceptionally small one. Keeping the Pacific Coast, Alaska, North East Atlantic, and other areas off limits will actually close off more areas than it opens and dangerously delays new energy exploration. Just before energy use peaks and rates rise, this is exactly the wrong direction to take. Truly lifting the Obama moratorium means allowing access to all of our energy.”Rep. Adrian Smith (NE-03)

“While I appreciate the President’s seeming departure from his extreme environmental left supporters, all I’m seeing in this exploration ‘plan’ is smoke and mirrors. The President is saying all of the right things but actions speak much louder than words, and this new 'plan' is just a continuation of this Administration’s inaction on making the United States energy independent; it will do nothing to end our dependence on foreign oil and nothing to end the export of billions of dollars we send overseas every year. He is essentially placing a moratorium on the Pacific Coast, delaying planned lease sales in Alaska, and subjecting previously studied areas to even more study, which is a waste of taxpayer time and dollars. Additionally, anything open to leasing will also be open to the inevitable lawsuits that will follow today’s announcement, so essentially we are back where we started. Sixty-eight percent of the American people support expanded offshore drilling, and yet not one lease sale in an area previously under moratorium will occur during President Obama’s term. This plan closes more than it opens, and is a complete farce. There is no question that this ‘Obama Moratorium’ will have dire impacts on the economic future of our country.”Rep. Don Young (Alaska)


Contact: Committee Staff

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