As I blogged about recently, in order to get our economy moving forward again we must reform our tax code and cut through the bureaucratic red tape which so often hinders job creation. A third, and equally important, step we must take is to recharge our nation's energy policy by establishing energy independence and a smart, responsible and balanced approach forward using both petroleum and alternative sources of fuel.
The Heritage Foundation recently wrote regarding the damage caused by the President's offshore drilling moratorium. Their report stated, "More than one-third of the drilling rigs in the Gulf of Mexico in 2009 left after the President's moratorium. If the White House simply didn't interfere, additional production from deepwater wells could generate 411,000 more barrels per day--providing jobs and lower gas prices."
To achieve these goals of creating jobs and lowering gas prices, I have cosponsored five bills in the House of Representatives:
* The Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (HR 1229)
* Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (HR 1230)
* Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act (HR 1231)
* The 3-D, Domestic Jobs, Domestic Energy, and Deficit Reduction Act (HR 1287)
* H. Res. 140, expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that domestic oil and gas resources are critical to our Nation's economy and the Secretary of the Interior should take immediate action to streamline the shallow and deepwater permitting process
Three of these bills have already passed the House, and I encourage Senator Reid to bring them up for action in the Senate. We need sustainable, sensible plans now, and these bills are a great step forward.