U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) on Wednesday voted to increase American energy production to help lower gas prices, which average $3.75 in Mississippi. Wicker voted for the Offshore Production and Safety Act, S. 953, but the legislation was defeated, 42-57.
"We need to address current needs with currently available domestic energy resources, such as oil and natural gas," said Wicker. "The Offshore Production and Safety Act is a balanced measure that offers a timely way forward by presenting a path toward lower fuel prices, job creation, and energy independence. This legislation is responsive to the needs of the American people, not at some uncertain date in the future but now, making use of the resources and technology available today."
The Offshore Production and Safety Act would require proposed lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico, the Mid-Atlantic, and those off of Alaska to be completed. In addition, it would cut bureaucratic red tape while speeding up the approval of drilling permits. Energy activities suspended during the administration's moratorium on offshore drilling would be extended by one year, and safety considerations are also taken to make deepwater drilling safer than before.
Wicker added, "Energy independence -- a goal we all share -- can only be achieved through conservation, innovation, and domestic exploration, but domestic exploration must be a part of this in order for us to obtain independence."