House Passes Final OCS Bill, Backs Efforts to Expand Access to Vital American Oil, Natural Gas Resources

House Passes Final OCS Bill, Backs Efforts to Expand Access to Vital American Oil, Natural Gas Resources

Russell: House action is a “litmus test” for energy initiatives to come

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the U.S. House passed the third of three bills aimed at expediting the offshore leasing and permitting process. The bills would also open previously unavailable offshore regions for American oil and natural gas development. The final bill in the series – H.R. 1231 – would reverse the Obama administration’s current offshore moratorium by opening up those areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources. Passed last week, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230) would require the Administration to move forward promptly to conduct offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia, which have been delayed or canceled. The Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229), which passed yesterday, aims to end the “de facto” moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico by establishing firm timelines for production permits.

Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA) President and CEO Barry Russell issued the following statement in response to the passing of the three outer continental shelf (OCS) energy bills:

“This common sense and overdue action in the House sends a clear message that America can and must produce more of our own energy, and create jobs at a time when they’re most needed. Expanding access to domestic, taxpayer-owned oil and natural gas resources is critical for American energy security.


“These bills seek to fix a broken system: stalled offshore lease sales, uncertain permitting timelines and unclear leasing programs that have resulted in significant job losses. This trio of legislative proposals will help put Americans back to work and allow independent producers to do what we do best – produce vital, homegrown energy resources.

“Permit delays threaten the future of American offshore production, and we support the House’s action to see that reality and realize the full potential of those enormous resources along the OCS. These bills represent the first vote made this Congress that is supportive of an industry accounting for millions of jobs and billions in state and federal revenues. America’s small, independent oil and gas producers see today’s motion as a litmus test for energy initiatives to come under the Obama administration. We urge the Senate to consider these common sense initiatives immediately.”

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Julia Bell