This morning, in Tupelo, Mississippi, Whiteside's Restaurant is quiet. The lights are turned off. Tables around which coffee and conversation had flowed freely, a place where I have enjoyed many great meals, is quiet this morning. And on the front door there's a sign that simply says, ``Due to the economy and Uncle Sam, Whiteside's is closed. Donna Whiteside said that the driving force in her closing her business was higher taxes, increased gas prices, and a sluggish economy. Higher gas prices have become a cruel tax on all Americans. Donna Whiteside saw it as her customers had shrinking disposable incomes because of higher gas prices. Donna Whiteside saw that the cost of her groceries were going up because of higher gas prices.
What is not helping Americans get relief at the pump is the stalling of energy production by this administration. Since taking office, President Obama has actively delayed, blocked, and stalled American energy production--and the American people are sick of these stalling tactics. That's why the House of Representatives is concentrating on three key initiatives that will reverse the Obama administration's policies that are hurting families and small businesses, destroying jobs, and increasing our reliance on foreign oil.
Last week, the House passed the Restarting American Offshore Leasing
Now Act. It will require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that have been delayed or canceled by this administration. In fact, if we don't have an oil lease this year, it will be the first time in my lifetime that the American public has not had that.
Yesterday, the House voted on the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act. Since the drilling moratorium was officially lifted in October, the administration has chosen to drag their feet and stalled the permitting process in the gulf. Twelve rigs have already left the gulf for other regions, taking hundreds and even thousands of jobs with them. This steady decline in oil and natural gas production is costing the United States $4.7 million every day in lost revenues. This act speeds up the drilling permitting process and will put thousands of Americans back to work.
Today, we'll vote on the Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act. The administration's actions have placed the Atlantic coast, the Pacific coast, and areas of Alaska off limits. This Act will implement a smart drilling plan requiring the administration to move forward on American energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources.
In north Mississippi, we're working at leading the way toward helping our Nation become energy secure. All three of these bills combined can create up to 1.2 million jobs that will generate revenue that our Nation needs, and it will put us on the path to achieving energy security, of more American oil, more natural gas, clean coal, nuclear energy, and new technologies such as wind and solar.
Donna Whiteside and the thousands of businesses and families around America need to know that the House of Representatives is listening to them. The House Republican American energy initiatives will free the American people from the Obama administration's stalling games. If the Senate will consider and pass this legislation, it will put an end to higher gas prices that are straining budgets and are compromising our energy security.