July 2, 2013. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx today issued the following statement on the passage of two pro-energy and pro-jobs bills, the Off-Shore Energy & Jobs Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act from the House of Representatives:
“It’s time to get serious about American energy independence. Removing barriers to safe offshore energy production is a necessary component of a serious American energy strategy. Our country has been blessed with an abundance of resources, and if we responsibly utilize those resources rather than ignore them, we will not only reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we will help create more than one million new jobs to help Americans who are struggling to find work.
“During the same week an Obama global warming advisor stated that a ‘war on coal is exactly what’s needed,’ Republicans are working to lower energy costs, move our country away from dependence on foreign oil and create jobs. This stands in stark contrast to President Obama’s energy priorities. Under his Environmental Protection Agency, 17 North Carolina coal units are being shut down – citing EPA policies as a reason, gas prices remain high and the shovel-ready Keystone XL Pipeline remains stalled. Jobless Americans and working families deserve better. The President would do well to follow the all-of-the-above energy strategy we stick to in the House.”
Congresswoman Foxx took to the floor of the House this week to advocate for the House’s energy plan which stands in contrast to the President’s energy priorities. A video of her remarks is below:
About the Off-Shore Energy & Jobs Act
Courtesy of the House Committee on Natural Resources
- The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, H.R. 2231, would expand U.S. offshore energy production in order to create over a million new American jobs, lower energy prices, grow our economy and strengthen national security.
- The bill removes federal government barriers that block production of our own U.S. energy resources.
- President Obama has effectively re-imposed an offshore drilling moratorium and imposed a lease plan that keeps 85 percent of our offshore areas off-limits to American energy production.
- A report by the non-partisan Congressional Research Service confirms that the 15 lease sales in President Obama’s five-year plan represent the lowest number of lease sales ever offered in a plan since the process began in 1980.
- In stark contrast to President Obama’s no-new-drilling, no-new-jobs plan, H.R. 2231 proposes a drill-smart, job-creation plan that 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 and Pacific Coast.
- It also requires the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales that have been delayed or cancelled by the Obama Administration and implements a fair, equitable revenue sharing program for all coastal states.
- H.R. 2231 also builds on the Interior Department’s reorganization of its offshore energy agencies by writing reforms into law and further enhancing the accountability, efficiency, safety and ethical standards of offshore energy operations. These reforms will allow for the robust and safe production of our Nation’s offshore energy resources.
- H.R. 2231 would generate $1.5 billion in new revenue over ten years according to the Congressional Budget Office and could create up to 1.2 million jobs long-term.
About the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act
Courtesy of the House Committee on Natural Resources
- H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act, sponsored by Representatives Jeff Duncan (SC-03), Doc Hastings (WA-04), and Matt Salmon (AZ-05), would enact the terms of an agreement signed by the Obama Administration and Mexico to govern how to explore, develop, and share revenue from oil and natural gas resources along the maritime border in the Gulf of Mexico.
- The bill would expand U.S. energy production, create new American jobs, and grow our economy by opening new areas to oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico.
- According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the U.S. State Department, these areas are estimated to contain 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas.
- It would give American job-creators and workers the certainty to move forward with exploration and development along the maritime border.
- These areas are ready to be explored and developed; activity will begin there as soon as the agreement is enacted. Enacting H.R. 1613 would put Americans to work and generate tens of millions of dollars in new revenue.
- Currently, there are 67 active lease blocks held by nine companies on the U.S. portion of this area. This means roughly 20 percent of the available acreage in this area is under lease and awaiting certainty in order to move forward with exploration and development.
- The bill would protect U.S. jobs and provide greater regulatory certainty to U.S. companies.
- The agreement signed by the Obama Administration and Mexico specifically provides what royalty payments Mexico would receive from energy developers. However, under current U.S. law (section 1504 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act) companies that commercially develop oil, natural gas or minerals are required to disclose payments made to a foreign government. This could create a potential conflict because Mexico has yet to decide how they will collect royalties and could potentially set regulatory measures that prohibit disclosure of payments.
- The bill includes a provision that would waive the Dodd-Frank requirement in order to help protect American jobs and American-made energy. Without it, foreign-controlled energy companies could develop this American energy resource and the royalty payments to Mexico would still be undisclosed and kept private.
- The bill would also put into place an important and transparent framework for future implementation of similar transboundary hydrocarbon agreements with other nations.