Representative Jeff Denham today voted on a bill to end the Administration's de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico in a responsible, transparent manner by reforming current law to improve safety and setting firm time-lines for considering permits to drill. Rep. Denham is a co-sponsor of the bill, H.R.1229, Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act, whichpassed through the House Natural Resources Committee this morning with a bipartisan vote of 27 to 16.
"Gas prices in California's Central Valley have skyrocketed to above $4 a gallon and have remained above the national average for weeks. This bill is the first of three we are considering today to expand American energy production in order to create jobs and lower energy costs,"said Rep. Jeff Denham. "Bureaucratic red tape and delays have hampered the Central Valley for far too long. We can no longer afford to rely on foreign resources. The time for inaction is over, we must use the resources we have to get people back to work and curb rising prices."
This bill allows drilling to resume in a safe manner and provides certainty to businesses by implementing firm timelines for the Interior Department to act on permits.
This bill ensures that endless bureaucratic delays and non-answers will no longer be tolerated.
H.R. 1229 includes reforms to current law to improve the safety of all offshore drilling. It requires the lease holders to receive an approved permit to drill before drilling an offshore well. Currently, such a permit is not required by federal law, only by regulation. This reform applies to the Gulf of Mexico and all offshore drilling in federal waters. This is a recommendation of the President's handpicked oil spill commission.
The bill further reforms the law to specifically require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a safety review to ensure that proposed drilling operations "meet all critical safety system requirements, including blowout prevention, and oil spill response and containment requirement.