House Republicans push for all-of-the-above energy policy
On Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives the passed legislation requiring the White House to create a five-year plan allowing for the development of offshore oil-and-gas leases.
Specifically, the bill requires the Secretary of the Interior to open up at least 50 percent of the available area within the Outer Continental Shelf to new leases. It passed along party lines 235-186, which was also reflected among the Alabama delegation, with Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Birmingham, being the lone dissenter.
The legislation, known as the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act (H.R. 2231), also included an amendment offered by Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La., that effectively doubled the revenue sharing cap of four Gulf Coast states — Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas — from $500 million to $1 billion. That expansion would take effect in 2017.
The bill included an amendment offered by Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., as well, that would prevent “frivolous, duplicative lawsuits” from holding up new energy leases by a 217-202 margin.
It also forces the administration to offer leases of the Virginia, South Carolina and California coastlines, which had been banned up until 2008.
The Offshore Energy and Jobs Act capped off a week during which House Republicans pushed back against the Obama Administration’s calls for increased regulations on the fossil fuels industry, particularly coal.
“The House just voted 235-186 to stop President Obama’s war on energy and create thousands of jobs,” House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on his Facebook page along with the graphic to the right.
Earlier in the week, Rep. Martha Roby, R-Montgomery, spoke out critically of President Barack Obama’s energy policy and said she was on the side of her Republican colleagues in the House that want to implement an “all-of-the-above” strategy to lower energy costs.
“Over the last few days, I have utilized social media to ask my constituents how higher energy costs from President Obama’s ‘war on coal’ will affect them,” Roby said in a statement. “Having access to affordable energy is an issue that touches every single American. More costly restrictions on energy producers mean higher electricity bills, more expensive groceries and increased gas prices. Americans need affordable energy to make ends meet, and that’s why I’ve joined House Republicans in pushing for an ‘all-of-the-above’ strategy that will keep costs low while putting us on a path to energy independence.”
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