The House of Representatives voted to increase domestic energy production, create jobs and lower prices this week. H.R. 1229 and 1231 both received bi-partisan support as lawmakers recognized the need to end our dependence on foreign oil and create jobs.
"We can create American jobs and break our dependence on foreign oil by using our own resources," said Graves. "Its common sense legislation that will address two of the biggest problems we face today- unemployment and high gas prices."
In 2008, Congress lifted the moratorium on energy exploration on the Outer Continental Shelf. However, since then the Obama administration has maintained a de facto moratorium by decreasing the available area and slow-walking permits. The legislation passed by the House would expedite permits and open up more areas for energy exploration.
According to the Energy Information Agency, production in the Gulf is expected to drop by 220,000 barrels per day. The slow down of permits has caused at least 13 drilling rigs to leave the Gulf of Mexico. Each rig can employ up to 200 people directly and hundreds more indirectly.
"We are at the mercy of other countries and the world market for our energy needs," said Graves. "These bills will put Americans back to work, producing American energy."
Both pieces of legislation will now go to the Senate where their prospects are uncertain.