Congressman Bill Owens voted today in favor of legislation that would reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil by opening up new lands for domestic drilling. H.R. 4480, the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, passed the U.S. House of Representatives today by a vote of 248-163.
"I am pleased that the House was able to come together and approve legislation to promote home-grown energy," said Owens. "Domestic oil production is currently at an eight-year high, and we must continue that momentum. This legislation will provide new opportunities for responsible domestic drilling that will help us to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil and create jobs."
Specifically, the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act requires the Interior Department to ensure that at least 25% of eligible federal land is available for leasing each year, while streamlining the process to approve both the leasing of lands for energy exploration as well as the permits necessary for safe drilling. In addition, an amendment was offered to HR 4480 to expedite approval of the Keystone Pipeline, but later withdrawn. Congressman Owens expressed his disappointment that the amendment was not included and reiterated his support for the Keystone Pipeline.
"I have consistently supported the Keystone project because it has the potential to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, increase trade with Canada and create jobs here at home. I would have liked to see action towards a positive outcome for the Keystone project, and once again urge Democrats and Republicans to work together and move forward with this important project," he said.