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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Bipartisan American Energy Bill

The Full House of Representatives passed H.R. 3408, with a bipartisan vote of 237-187. The legislation is a bipartisan plan to expand offshore energy production, open less than three percent of ANWR for oil and natural gas production, encourage the development of 1.5 trillion barrels of oil shale in the Rocky Mountain West, and approve the Keystone XL pipeline. The plan will create over 1.2 million jobs, raise over $4.3 billion in new federal revenues, help lower gasoline prices and strengthen our national and economic security.

The American people overwhelmingly support expanding production of our own energy resources. Increased American energy production means more jobs, lower gas prices and less reliance on unstable foreign energy. While the Obama Administration continues to go out of its way to lock up American energy resources, Republicans in the House are moving a bipartisan plan to open more areas for energy production and job creation. As gasoline prices continue to rise to almost double what they were when President Obama took office and Iran continues to strain foreign oil supply, Americans are demanding action. Republicans are responding with this action plan to create jobs and grow the economy through new American energy production. The only question is, will the Democrat controlled Senate and President Obama stand in the way or become part of the solution?
-- Doc Hastings

Representative Hastings' office also provided the following information about the contents of HR 3408:
  • Offshore Energy Production. The plan would require the Administration to move forward with new offshore energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources – including the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast and portions of the Eastern Gulf of Mexico. It requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that have been delayed or cancelled. It establishes fair and equitable revenue sharing for coastal states.
  • ANWR. The plan would open less than 3 percent of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in Alaska to responsible energy development by directing the Interior Secretary to establish lease sales in the North Slope. The North Slope of ANWR was specifically set aside in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter and Congress for oil and natural gas development. ANWR contains approximately 10.4 billion barrels of oil and at peak production could supply the U.S. with up to 1.45 million barrels of oil per day.
  • Oil Shale. The plan would create new American jobs by setting clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promoting shale technology research and development. It directs the Secretary of the Interior to issue additional Research, Development & Demonstration (RD&D) and commercial leases and makes permanent the Resource Management Plan amendments and commercial oil shale regulations published guidelines by the Department in November 2008.
  • Keystone XL pipeline. The plan would create a path forward for construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a proj that would create tens of thousands of jobs and deliver nearly a million additional barrels of Canadian oil per day to U.S. refineries. The legislation takes politics out of the pipeline decision by removing the president’s authority over the pipeline’s permit and giving it to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. It instructs FERC to approve the pipeline within 30 days if the permit remains in compliance with State Department’s Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), which concluded building the pipeline was the “preferred” option. The legislation also gives FERC 30 days to approve the Nebraska re-route once the environmental review is complete and the state’s governor has approved it.

Now this bill needs to get passed by the Senate, then be signed into law. Let your Senators know its time for America to get a vigorous response to our energy needs. Look up your Senators here. Email Obama too. He'll need to sign this right away... especially if we go to war with Iran.

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