Congresswoman Shelley Moore Capito, R. W.Va., responds to today's announcement that the Obama Administration will prohibit new offshore drilling in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Coast for at least another seven years. The announcement is a complete reversal from the Department of Interior's (DOI) original plan announced in March, 2010.
"Cutting off vital sources of American-made energy is exactly the opposite approach of what the Administration should be proposing right now. There's no question that the Deepwater Horizon spill was a horrific tragedy, but prohibiting offshore drilling in the resource-rich waters off the Atlantic and the Gulf of Mexico will have tremendous consequences on the U.S. economy at a time when we can least afford it. This decision will further our dependence on foreign oil, increase energy prices across America and cost jobs along the Gulf Coast and beyond," stated Capito.
"Approximately 25% of U.S. oil and natural gas production comes from offshore areas. These resources, along with coal and alternative sources of energy, should each make up a significant portion of an all-of-the-above energy portfolio."
In May 2009, Capito joined her colleagues to introduce H.R. 2227, The American Conservation and Clean Energy Independence Act, a bipartisan national energy plan that will invest in alternative energy, promote new technology, and encourage conservation -- all without raising taxes on consumers.
The Act uses royalties from offshore energy exploration to fund investments in new energy technologies -- from clean coal, to renewable energy or energy efficiency initiatives. Rather than locking up our immense domestic resources, this bill essentially attempts to create -- and fund -- the bridge to help us all reach the self-sufficient energy economy that we want and need.