Sens. Orrin Hatch (R --Utah) and David Vitter (R-La.) today introduced a major energy bill that would increase jobs, reduce energy costs and generate significant revenue to state and federal coffers.
The legislation Hatch and Vitter unveiled -- the Three-D: Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy and Deficit Reduction Act of 2011 -- would overturn the Obama administration's restrictions against domestic oil and gas production, reverse its bans on key offshore federal leases off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, and open ANWR in Alaska to oil production, directing some of the resulting revenues toward renewable energy production, Finally, it would reverse the Administration's recent moves against commercial oil shale production in Utah and other Western states.
"We hear a lot about `green jobs,' which can often mean another way of saying expensive government-subsidized jobs," Hatch said. "Our bill gets government out of the way of the real jobs that produce domestic energy our consumers can afford. We're talking about private jobs that not only reduce energy costs, but increase our energy security -- jobs in Utah and across the nation that pay great salaries and generate huge revenues in royalties and taxes to our state and federal coffers. There is no quicker way to jumpstart our economy and reduce our budget deficit than to simply allow private industry to access our abundant, affordable energy sources."
"Yesterday, the President offered some vague platitudes, but no concrete plans to rein in rising gas prices, even as they climb toward $4 per gallon," Vitter said. "Today, we're laying out a far different path by introducing our legislation. The 3-D Act would unleash our vast domestic energy potential to create American jobs, help free us from our reliance on foreign oil and begin to reduce our $14 trillion dollar national debt. Louisianians know how our domestic energy supplies can be a powerful job-creating force, and dozens of energy producers are willing and able to begin work quickly and safely to develop those untapped resources."
Hatch also took issue with the President's energy message, saying the Obama administration's anti-energy deeds speak louder than his words.
"This Administration has created the most hostile atmosphere for domestic energy production our nation has ever seen," Hatch said. "Whether it's federal offshore leasing, leasing on federal lands, or commercial regulations for oil shale development, this President has done more to stymie energy production than any other president in history. In spite of the President's words, federal energy leases have dropped 67 percent in the Rockies and 87 percent in Utah. That translates into an 87 percent cut in high-paying energy jobs in Utah, higher gas prices at the pump and less revenue for the state and federal government.
"I have no problem with the President's call for efficiency and alternative fuel vehicles, but these are hardly new ideas," Hatch added, "The fact is that Congress has acted aggressively on every one of those priorities, starting with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that was signed into law by President George Bush."