Congressman Steve Scalise today issued the following statement after the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) announced that it will hold the first oil and natural gas lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico since the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
"While today's announcement is a step in the right direction, this much-delayed lease sale is no substitute for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that allows us to utilize all of our natural resources to create millions of American jobs and eliminate our dependence on Middle Eastern oil," Scalise said. "Nor does this decision reverse the damage that's already been done by President Obama's permitorium that has led to more than 13,000 jobs lost along the Gulf Coast alone.
"For months now we've been pushing the Obama Administration to hold this lease sale, and I helped pass a bill through the House months ago that would have forced them to do just that, but the Administration continued to drag its feet and delay action resulting in higher gas prices at the pump and an increased dependence on Middle Eastern oil, jeopardizing America's energy security in the process. President Obama needs to reverse his radical policies, including his reckless permitorium on drilling that has led to the loss of 13,000 American jobs, and he needs to work with those of us in Congress who continue pressing for an all-of-the-above energy strategy that puts people back to work exploring safely for energy off our coast and ends our dependence on Middle Eastern oil."
The lease sale will take place in December of 2011 and encompasses about 3,900 un-leased blocks covering approximately 20.6 million acres.