Rep. Tom Graves (R-GA-09) released the following statement today after voting in favor of HR 4480, the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012, which provides a plan to increase oil and gas exploration, development, and production.
"Energy prices in America are still too high, and they're holding back the U.S. economy. Instead of putting up needless roadblocks to domestic energy production, as the Obama Administration appears intent on doing, we should be examining every possible avenue to safely ramp up our energy supply. This bill expands on-shore energy production, streamlines the leasing and permitting process, and finds out the impact of EPA regulations before they are implemented -- all good things for the American economy. At a time when jobs are scarce and gas prices are eating up a big chunk of Americans' take-home pay, we owe it to the American people to do everything we can to bring down the cost of energy."
The bill requires Interior Secretary Salazar to develop a plan to increase energy production on federal lands within 180 days of any drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). It also requires an overall review or freeze of certain regulations put in place by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) which could negatively affect energy production and the economy. HR 4480 also requires the U.S. Interior Department to set goals for oil and gas output on federal land and gives the Secretary the authority to conduct Internet-based auctions for onshore leases.