House Passes Final OCS Bills, Gives Hope to Concerned Consumers
House Agrees to Set Permitting Timelines and Move Forward with Progressive Leasing Plan to Increase Access to Domestic Energy Sources

WASHINGTON – In response to months of high gas prices, low employment rates and civil unrest in foreign energy-producing nations, a bipartisan majority of the U.S. House of Representatives passed critical legislation that aims to retract the Administration’s de facto moratorium on taxpayer-owned oil and natural gas production along the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), unleashing significant domestic energy resources and putting hard working Americans back to work. The final bill – the Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R. 1231) – successfully passed in the House of Representatives today following last week’s passage of the bipartisan Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, and yesterday’s passage of the Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229). Collectively, the bills responsibly reinstate stalled lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia, set definitive timelines for considering permits specifically in the Gulf Coast region, and require the Obama Administration to move forward with lease plans

Consumer Energy Alliance (CEA) president David Holt released the following statement regarding passage of the OCS-related bills:

“CEA applauds leaders in the House for hearing the call of concerned consumers and passing crucial legislation that would finally provide access to America’s offshore energy resources and a potential solution to the high energy prices Americans are facing heading into the summer season. More immediately, bills like this will help put the thousands of Americans across the country – employed in manufacturing, transportation, steel and energy sectors that rely in steady supply of oil and natural gas – back to work, allowing them to provide for their families in these difficult economic times.  At a time when the nation needs all our conventional and alternative energy resources, it is critical that we remove artificial barriers to the primary economic drivers to our economy – oil and natural gas.

“Many consumers only see the affects high energy prices have on their individual wallets and paychecks. However, these three bills rightfully address and remedy, at least initially, a fundamental failure by bureaucrats in Washington to provide access to domestic energy resources, while generating significant revenue to help reduce the deficit and bolster our economy. Without a healthy domestic energy supply, the cost of doing businesses increases and simple economics tell us that jobs and revenues suffer under those circumstances. A more efficient permitting process and access to previously unavailable regions of the OCS can help both the individual – through lower costs and better jobs – and the nation as a whole by decreasing national debt and generating revenues that stay here at home.

“Collectively and individually, these bills demonstrate an effort by the House to change the course of a difficult situation Americans find themselves in, and we now must look to the U.S. Senate to continue on this positive path forward.  Our domestic energy production isn’t a partisan issue, it is an American issue.”