Today, Ohio Congressman Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) announced plans to introduce the American-Made Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act - a bill to expand U.S. offshore energy production in order to create millions of American jobs and generate new revenue to help pay for initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure.
The measure will be part of the energy and infrastructure jobs bill announced by House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) last week. The bill, expected to move through the House in the coming weeks, will link expanded American energy production with initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure, permanently removing barriers to private-sector growth.
"Americans in Ohio and across the country are worried about rising energy costs, high unemployment and our aging infrastructure. This bill is an opportunity to directly address those concerns by linking expanded American energy production to important infrastructure repairs and improvements," said Congressman Stivers. "The U.S. has vast energy resources that are not being developed due to federal government roadblocks. Removing these barriers and allowing expanded American energy production will create long-term job growth, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and provide much-needed revenue to help pay for vital infrastructure improvements."
The Stivers plan opens up untapped oil resources in the Outer Continental Shelf that will raise revenue from new off-shore drilling leases and provide a new dedicated source of revenue to fund infrastructure projects.
Specifically, the American-Made Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act will:
* Require that each five-year offshore leasing plan include lease sales in the areas containing the greatest known oil and natural gas reserves. For the 2012-2017 plan being written by the Obama Administration, the areas with the greatest known reserves are specifically defined as those estimated to contain 2.5 billion barrels of oil or 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. At least 50 percent of those areas must be made available for leasing in the 2012-2017 plan.
* Require the following lease sales that were delayed or canceled by the Obama Administration to occur before June 1, 2012 or within one year after enactment of the bill: lease sale #220 off the Virginia Coast , and Gulf of Mexico lease sales #216 , #218 and #222.
* Open the Eastern Gulf of Mexico, which is currently under Congressional moratorium until 2022, to new energy production.
* Establish fair and equitable revenue sharing of offshore revenues for coastal states. Currently, states in the Gulf of Mexico receive 37.5 percent of revenue from new leases. This bill would extend that revenue sharing percentage to other coastal states with energy production off their shores.