March 28, 2012
House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04) released the following statement regarding reports that the Obama Administration will today announce plans for seismic studies for possible future drilling lease sales off Virginia and the Atlantic Coast. President Obama is responsible for delaying and then outright canceling the Virginia lease sale that was scheduled to take place in 2011. Today’s announcement continues the President’s policy of postponing a Virginia lease sale until at least 2018—seven years after it was supposed to happen. According to a study
, the Virginia lease sale, which is included in House Republican’s bipartisan energy plan
, will create 2,000 jobs and produce 750 million barrels of oil, 6.65 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
“First President Obama cancels offshore drilling leases off Virginia that were to begin in 2011, and now he wants credit for a study to maybe let them start sometime after 2018. The President’s actions have closed an entire new area to drilling on his watch and cheats Virginians out of thousands of jobs. This press conference continues the President’s election-year political ploy of giving speeches and talking about drilling after having spent the first three years in office blocking, delaying and driving up the cost of producing energy in America. As gas prices climb higher and eat away at the pocketbooks of American families, this President is focused on trying to talk his way out of what he’s done, rather than taking real steps to boost American energy production.
“If President Obama truly wanted to support energy production in the Atlantic, he would immediately reinstate the lease sale that he canceled. The fact the President is not announcing that today means he’s more interested in headlines than moving forward with a real plan to develop our American energy resources. While President Obama has no problem taking credit for the successful energy policies of his predecessors, he is stubbornly opposed to creating any successful energy policies of his own.”
- The current five-year plan (2007-2012), established by the Bush Administration, included a lease sale (#220) off the Virginia Coast in 2011.
- In May 2010, the Obama Administration cancelled the Virginia lease sale.
- Later, the Obama Administration released a draft plan for offshore drilling through 2017. This plan places the entire Pacific Coast, the entire Atlantic Coast, the Eastern Gulf and parts of Alaska off limits to future energy production.
- This means that the earliest a lease sale could even occur off Virginia is 2018.
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