Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02), a member of the House Energy Action Team (HEAT), issued the following statement after House passage of the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act (H.R. 4480):
"All you have to do is look to North Dakota to see the benefits of producing American energy -- oil and gas production is booming and the state has a 3 percent unemployment rate. Like North Dakota, Arkansas is an energy rich state and the Brown Dense formation has the potential to create even more good paying jobs. Increasing U.S. energy exploration will not only strengthen our economy, it will help make our country less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. As a member of HEAT and cosponsor of the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, I am proud that this critical jobs bill passed the House earlier today. The Senate should pass it immediately."
In May, Rep. Griffin hosted an American Energy and Jobs Tour event in Little Rock as part of a series of events held nationwide. Following that tour, HEAT members unveiled the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act.
H.R. 4480 contains several provisions that will create jobs and increase American-made energy production. Specifically, it would require an increase in federal lands leased for oil and natural gas drilling that is proportional to any release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It would also direct the U.S. Secretary of the Interior to develop a strategic plan every four years on how to responsibly develop our federal onshore energy resources in order to meet U.S. energy demands, and require him to offer a minimum level of new lease sales each year.
H.R. 4480 also would ensure the timely approval of drilling permits by setting firm timelines for the Interior Secretary and direct the President to establish an interagency committee to study certain U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules and actions that impact the price of gasoline and diesel fuels, while delaying the implementation of the three most problematic regulations until the study is complete. Those three regulations are New Source Performance Standards for greenhouse gases for refineries, Tier 3 standards and National Ambient Air Quality Standards for ozone.
In addition, it would expand American energy production and lower energy costs by ensuring that oil and natural gas resources in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska are developed and transported in a timely, efficient manner. It also would authorize Internet-based auctions for onshore leases to ensure greater returns for U.S. taxpayers, reduce fraud and secure the leasing process.