Representative Steven Palazzo (R-MS) issued the following statement today regarding the House votes to expand domestic energy production. H.R. 1229 would end the Administration's de facto moratorium on drilling in the Gulf of Mexico by setting strict timelines for administrative action on drilling applications. H.R. 1231 would lift President Obama's ban on additional offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to support new energy production in areas along our coasts containing the most natural gas resources.
"One man has stood in the way of jump starting our economy and saving 12,000 offshore jobs. That man is the President and Americans are frustrated each time they fill their tanks with $4 gasoline. The common sense legislation passed by the House of Representatives will develop more energy from all of our available resources and reduce energy prices.
"We need more American jobs and more American energy, and these bills would force the Obama administration to stop dragging its feet when it comes to allowing American companies to explore for American energy.
"Job creators are demanding certainty in the market place to reinvest in domestic energy or to take their assets overseas. Since the Administration's de facto moratorium, we've lost 12 oil rigs to countries like Brazil and Egypt because they present a more favorable energy investment environment than the United States of America. Those rigs won't simply return. Inaction by this Administration could cause a loss of 24,532 jobs on the gulf coast alone.
"With gas prices hovering near $4 and unemployment at 9 percent, the Obama Administration has a responsibility to lift the de facto ban on offshore drilling, end their reckless energy policies, and put Americans back to work."