On Thursday, May 05, 2011, Representative Scott DesJarlais (TN-04) voted in favor of final passage of H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act. This bill expands American energy production and creates jobs by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales, which have been delayed or cancelled by the Obama Administration, in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia.
There is bipartisan support for energy production off the Virginia coast. According to a study by the Southeast Energy Alliance, offshore energy development in Virginia could create nearly 2,000 jobs in Virginia and produce more than a half billion barrels of oil and 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.
Upon passage of the bill, Representative DesJarlais noted:
"I was pleased to cast my vote today in favor of this bill because I have a responsibility to make sure my constituents are not paying a penny more than necessary for their energy needs. Rising gasoline prices are hurting families across Tennessee's Fourth Congressional district and are hampering the ability of small businesses to create jobs and grow our economy.
"By delaying oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Virginia, the Obama administration is blocking crucial American energy production. This hurts our ability to keep energy prices low by making us increasingly dependent on foreign oil. Additionally, we are forfeiting much‐needed revenue that could be used to help pay down the national debt. In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that H.R. 1230 would generate $40 million in new revenue over the next decade.
"We need to be doing everything in our power to keep energy prices low, especially during these difficult economic times. I look forward in continuing to address this important issue because the rising cost of energy is one of the concerns I hear most frequently while meeting with constituents across my district."