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Coincidence? Natural Resources Committee Passes Bill to Require Lease Sale, Obama Administration Prepares Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 20, 2011 - House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE) announced the completion of the draft supplemental environmental impact statement (SEIS) for oil and gas lease sale 218 in the Western Planning Area in the Gulf of Mexico. The announcement comes on the heels of the Natural Resources Committee passing H.R. 1230, a bill that would reverse the Obama Administration’s actions and proceed now with the scheduled lease sales in a prompt, timely and safe manner.

“The Obama Administration has decided to hold one lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico only after the Natural Resources Committee passed legislation requiring this sale to move forward and just weeks before it may be voted on by the full House. As Americans brace for $5 gasoline, the Obama Administration has quickly realized the outrage that would follow if 2011 was the first year since 1958 without an offshore lease sale. The Obama Administration’s plan to hold one lease sale by the end of this year is encouraging. However, squeezing in one conveniently timed offshore lease before the end of the year is not enough to undo the Obama Administration’s long track record of blocking and delaying American energy production. In addition to holding this lease sale, the Administration should move forward with other sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that were scheduled to take place this year. The Administration has already determined that offshore drilling can move forward safely and responsibly, and now it’s time to hold lease sales and issue permits to create jobs, lower prices, and produce more American energy.”

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