Five Ways President Obama Can Support New American Energy Jobs
July 24, 2013
While President Obama prepares to deliver yet another speech on the economy today, Republicans on the House Natural Resources Committee have been advancing legislation to put Americans back to work and unlock access to our U.S. energy resources. Expanding American energy production, both onshore and offshore, is one of the best ways to create over a million new jobs and spur economic growth.
“The American people don’t want to hear more talk from the President, they want to see action. Unfortunately, the only action taken by this Administration has been to impose new red-tape and taxes on America’s job creators,” said House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings. “The House Natural Resources Committee has passed numerous bipartisan proposals to help create over a million jobs and grow our economy by producing more American made energy. If the President is serious about job creation, he would abandon his regulatory assault on our economy and support our action plan to put Americans back to work and make America more energy secure.”
5 Ways President Obama Can Support New American Jobs:
Support Expanded Offshore Energy Production. In June, the House passed H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act with strong bipartisan support. This legislation would create up to 1.2 million jobs long-term by opening up new offshore areas in the Atlantic, Pacific, and the Arctic to American energy production. It would require the Obama Administration to implement a new five-year offshore lease plan that includes areas containing the greatest amount of oil and natural gas resources. President Obama’s current lease plan keeps 85 percent of our offshore areas closed to energy production.
Streamline the Leasing and Permitting Process. Federal oil and natural gas production has declined since President Obama took office because of the regulatory delays and hurdles imposed by his Administration. Today, the House Natural Resources Committee will consider H.R. 1965, the Federal Lands Jobs and Security Act, which would reform the leasing process for onshore oil and natural gas projects on federal lands to eliminate unnecessary delays; reform the process for energy permitting, once a lease is in hand, to encourage the timely development of our federal resources; ensure funds are available for efficient wind and solar permitting; and set clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources.
Unlock the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A). The NPR-A was specifically set aside for energy production and according to the U.S. Geological Survey could contain over 2.7 billion barrels of oil and 114.36 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. However, in February, the Obama Administration announced final plans to close over half of the NPR-A to energy production. The House Natural Resources Committee has passed H.R. 1964, the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act, which would require annual lease sales to be held in the NPR-A, streamline the permitting process to ensure timely development of resources, and set firm timelines for infrastructure permits to be approved. It would also nullify the plan released by the Obama Administration in February 2013 and require the Interior Department to issue a new integrated activity plan.
End Duplicative Red Tape on Hydraulic Fracturing. The Obama Administration has proposed new regulations on hydraulic fracturing on federal lands that would impose new layers of red tape on American job-creators and directly duplicate what states have been doing efficiently and effectively for over sixty years. H.R. 2728, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act, would protect American jobs and American energy production by limiting the Obama Administration’s ability to impose duplicative federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing.
Stop the War on Coal. The Obama Administration has waged a long-running war on coal, which a White House advisor has said “is exactly what’s needed.” One example of this war on coal is the Obama Administration’s rewrite of regulations governing coal mining near streams. Within days of taking office, the Obama Administration threw out a rule that had undergone five years of environmental analysis and public review and used a short-circuited process to hire a contractor to rewrite this regulation. When the news media revealed official analysis showing the new Obama regulation would cost 7,000 jobs and cause economic harm in 22 states, the Administration fired the contractor and charged ahead. The Natural Resources Committee’s investigation into this issue has exposed gross mismanagement of the rulemaking process, potential political interference, and the widespread economic harm their proposed regulation would cause.
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