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Letter of Support: Rep. Hastings’ Energy Expansion Bills

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Unread 05.04.11, 01:10 PM
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Letter of Support: Rep. Hastings’ Energy Expansion Bills

05.04.11 08:22 AM

Dear Representative Hastings,


Letter of Support: Rep. Hastings’ Energy Expansion Bills

Dear Representative Hastings,
On behalf of more than 1.7 million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write to applaud you for introducing a trio of bills to end restrictions on offshore energy production here in the United States. The Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229), the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230), and the Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R. 1231) all seek to loosen the Obama administration’s inexplicably tight grip on the abundant oil and natural gas deposits available in the outer continental shelf, thereby putting Americans back to work and helping to lower the nation’s skyrocketing energy and fuel prices.
As part of a broader job-killing environmental policy agenda, the Obama administration has severely restricted exploration and recovery of the nation’s wealth of offshore oil and natural gas resources, inhibiting new investment in these areas.
Offshore drilling in the Gulf region is one prime example. Official Department of the Interior (DOI) figures show that the number of permits issued by DOI for drilling new wells in the Gulf has plummeted in recent years, from an average of 1194 per year under President Clinton and 848 per year under President Bush down to only 254 per year under President Obama. It should come as no surprise that the region’s production has also sharply declined. According to statistics compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in the 1990s monthly oil production in the Gulf of Mexico averaged 1.97 million barrels; since President Obama took office that number has plunged to an average of 604,000 barrels per month. The region’s natural gas production has been cut in half in the last decade.
But the Gulf is not the only region experiencing these declines. Total nationwide offshore natural gas production has declined from its peak of over 5,800,000 million cubic feet in 2001 to just over 3,000,000 million cubic feet in 2009. Total nationwide offshore oil production has declined by 56% in the last two years alone, all under the Obama administration’s watch.
With worldwide demand for petroleum surging and domestic supply restricted by prohibitive federal energy policies, a simple understanding of economics leads us to the predictable result: gas prices have skyrocketed, from an average of $1.83 the week President Bush left office to an average of $3.90 last week under President Obama, a 113% increase in just over two years. Paying double at the pump hurts even more as families and businesses across the country struggle with tight budgets and increasing costs on all goods and services.
Your bills would alleviate these supply constraints by loosening government restrictions on offshore energy production of both oil and natural gas. H.R. 1229 would end the de facto drilling moratorium by reforming the offshore leasing process and requiring timely processing of permit applications by the Department of the Interior; H.R. 1230 would require the Interior Secretary to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that have been senselessly delayed or cancelled by the Obama administration; and H.R. 1231 seeks to open offshore production in areas with high concentrations of recoverable oil and natural gas deposits that are currently off limits.
These measures will reinvigorate much-needed oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere, and represent smart first steps towards a comprehensive loosening of unnecessary government restrictions on domestic energy production around the country.
Americans for Prosperity is proud to support your legislation, I urge your colleagues to support its passage, and I look forward to working with you in the future.
Sincerely,
James Valvo
Director of Government Affairs
Americans for Prosperity




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