Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) today voted to increase American energy production by lifting the President's ban on new offshore drilling. In doing so, the legislation would help bring down gasoline prices, create jobs, and further America's energy independence.
"Anyone who thinks America can't develop her energy resources in a safer and more environmentally-friendly way than Saudi Arabia, Libya or Venezuela is kidding themselves," said Kingston. "At nearly $4 per gallon, gas prices are devastating families, farmers and small businesses across the country. It's time to get our heads out of the sand and make our energy right here, right now."
The proposal passed today with bipartisan support would require the Administration to conduct lease sales for oil and natural gas exploration in the areas containing the greatest known oil and natural gas reserves. It would allow a state's governor to request that lease sales be conducted in his or her state's offshore area. Finally, it would provide for a tripling of the current offshore oil production and would reduce foreign imports by nearly one-third.
When coupled with legislation passed by the House recently that focused on energy production in the Gulf region, the plan could create 250,000 jobs short-term and 1.2 million jobs long-term according to Dr. Joseph Mason, an economist and professor at Louisiana State University.
It would also help address the nation's debt. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office, the bill passed today would generate $800 million in federal revenues over the next 10 years without raising current taxes.
"American-made energy makes sense," Kingston said. "It brings down the cost of gas, creates jobs, provides for America's energy independence and helps bring down our national debt. It's the first step toward an all-of-the-above energy policy that also includes conservation and development of new sources of energy. I hope the Senate and the President will join us in tackling this serious issue."