House Republicans Block Measure to Increase Availability of Domestic Oil Supply
Congressman Joe Courtney voted today in favor of the Drill Responsibly in Leased Land (DRILL) Act, which was debated in the House of Representatives today and voted on in an expedited process. Unfortunately, the DRILL Act failed to garner the two-thirds required to pass when 162 House Republicans voted against the measure.
"I support domestic exploration on the tens of millions of acres currently available to bring more oil to the marketplace and to lower prices for the American people who deserve a break," stated Courtney. "This legislation afforded our nation an opportunity to expand responsible drilling in Alaska. While the benefits would take some time to realize, the process would be much shorter than opening the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge."
"This bill is just one part of a greater need to overhaul our nation's energy policies. We must increase incentives for wind, solar and other alternative energies, while conserving as best we can," added Courtney.
Congressman Courtney supports expanded oil and gas exploration in the United States on lands currently available for lease. The legislation will help provide the tools necessary to more speedily extract oil and natural gas in the National Petroleum Reserve - Alaska, an area that is expected to hold more energy resources than the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve and is currently available for leasing. Millions of other acres nationwide, both onshore and offshore, would also be open for exploration.
The DRILL Act would promote the responsible domestic production of oil and natural gas, particularly in 20 million acres of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska.
The DRILL Act would increase domestic oil supply by speeding the development of the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPR-A) by requiring the Secretary of Interior to offer at least one lease sale annually in the NPR-A. The DRILL Bill would also reinstate a ban on the foreign export of Alaskan oil to bring more product to the American consumer.
Importantly, the bill would incorporate Use It or Lose It' legislation, which simply requires oil producers to drill on the leases they already have or relinquish them so that another company can produce the oil there.
To make sure the product can be efficiently brought to the marketplace, the bill calls on the President to use the powers of his office to facilitate the completion of oil pipelines into the NPR-A and to facilitate the construction of an Alaska natural gas pipeline to the continental United States to move the product to market.
The DRILL Act will provide more oil, because the NPR-A has an estimated 10.6 billion barrels versus the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) with an estimated 10.4 billion barrels and if produced, along with the 68 million acres of already-leased land, U.S. oil production would nearly double.
The DRILL Act will increase supply sooner, because NPR-A is already partially leased and eligible for more leasing right now, unlike the protected ANWR and new coastal areas, and existing pipelines reach to within 5 miles of NPR-A and the bill would facilitate the construction of Alaskan pipelines to move the oil and gas to market.