Congressman Steve Scalise today lead a letter signed by 100 Members of Congress calling on President Obama to end the permitorium and immediately expedite the permitting process for safe offshore energy exploration and development.
"The unrest in the Middle East underscores the importance of reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and illustrates precisely why the Obama administration must stop blocking our attempts to drill safely in the pursuit of our energy independence," Scalise said. "We must make a firm commitment to an "all of the above" energy policy while pursuing a domestic energy strategy that safely harnesses America's natural resources and creates high-paying jobs here at home. The Administration's decision to continue the permitorium on domestic energy production despite the instability in the Middle East and North Africa gravely jeopardizes our national security, our economy, and our energy independence.
"The President has the ability, and more importantly the duty, to direct his Administration to act in a manner that protects our national energy security and American jobs and ensures that we do not remain hostage to the political tensions of Middle Eastern nations. The President needs to direct DOI and BOEM to remove the barriers to the safe exploration and production of our domestic energy resources that are vital to all Americans and to our energy security by bringing immediate and very concrete clarity for offshore permitting and require the DOI and BOEM to immediately hasten the approval of permits for safe offshore drilling.
"The time to act is now. We need to safely and responsibly produce our domestic energy in order to reduce our reliance on Middle Eastern imports and in turn, create jobs and increase our economic growth."
According to AAA, gas prices rose an average of 23 cents per gallon last week because of the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa. Prices are forecast to continue rising this week as the unrest continues.