Frustration Mounts Over Cancellation of New Offshore Drilling
Congressman Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus and Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, responded to the announcement that the Department of Interior (DOI) plans to cancel further energy exploration and development in deep offshore areas known to contain more than 86 billion barrels of recoverable oil and approximately 420 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. This decision comes one day after Secretary Salazar announced a series of proposed new regulations on onshore energy producers.
Specifically, the Administration announced today that it will be placing the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic coast off-limits to new energy exploration and development for at least the next five years if not longer.
"The administration's decision to prevent offshore energy exploration in some of the most promising areas creates a severe disadvantage for the U.S., both economically and in terms of national security. These resources are a vital component of our nation's efforts to wean ourselves off of our unnecessary and self-imposed dependence on foreign and unstable energy supplies," said Congressman Bishop.
According to a report done by the American Energy Alliance (AEA), U.S. offshore energy development could provide:
- $8 trillion in additional economic output (GDP);
- $2.2 trillion in total tax receipts;
- 1.2 million new, well-paying jobs annually across the country; and
- $70 billion in additional wages each year.
"With better enforcement of environmental safeguards, our offshore energy resources will be an essential key to unlocking the shackles of foreign energy imports. It is imprudent and unwise to shut the door on this abundant natural and domestic resource," Bishop added. "It is obvious that Secretary Salazar and this administration have chosen to turn their backs on two very important issues that are critical to this country- job creation and energy development. The cancellation of future offshore energy development in these areas is an admission by this Administration that they are incapable or unwilling to explore safe and responsible measures that will allow us to deliver on one of our nation's most abundant natural resources in a way that upholds the highest environmental standards."