Outer Continental Shelf Drilling:
Following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, many questions about safety were asked regarding the future of offshore oil and gas production. The resulting investigations into this accident and the safety precautions that the federal government has put in place in recent months have given us some of these answers. I was actively involved in pressing the Administration to increase both the shallow water and deep water offshore drilling, having stressed the importance of safe offshore energy production to our Nation's energy security and our Gulf Coast economy.
Our office leads a bipartisan letter of Energy and Commerce Members requesting an oversight and investigations hearing in the Energy and Commerce Committee to examine the slow issuance of permits. As of March 7, BOEM has now issued 37 permits for new shallow water wells and has issued one permit for deepwater activities that were subject to the moratorium.
The question is not whether we should or should not regulate greenhouse gas emissions, but rather how to regulate emissions with the least disruption to our economy since the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. With EPA regulations on utilities and refineries looming, I have cosponsored a bill that would prohibit the EPA for two years from taking any action under the Clean Air Act with respect to any stationary source permitting requirements. I support this approach, because I believe that the Congress should develop our carbon controlling program versus the EPA doing so. Cap and Trade legislation will not pass this Congress, but I believe a solution can be found for controlling carbon emissions by using nuclear and natural gas to generate electricity.