Congressman Robert Hurt today released the following statement after voting in favor of the Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan. This legislation would replace the President's five-year offshore energy leasing plan with commonsense proposals, that among other things, make use of Virginia's energy resources. This legislation passed with bipartisan support by a vote of 253 - 170:
"The burdens caused by high fuel prices in this stalled economy have had lasting impacts on our 5th District communities. Energy prices may no longer be on the rise, but the devastation caused in our local communities as a result of over $4 fuel prices is still on the minds of many as they struggle to make ends meet in this stalled economy.
"Yet, despite the long-term, double-digit unemployment in many areas of Virginia's 5th District -- and despite the House of Representative's work to adopt pro-growth policies -- the President and the Senate have indicated that American energy security and job creation are not top priorities. Just last month, the Administration announced that its five-year energy plan will exclude resources off of Virginia's Coast, putting thousands of Virginia jobs on hold.
"With so many out of work, and with small business owners and farmers crippled by the uncertainty caused by fluctuating fuel prices, the House will not stand by as the rest of Washington fails to act. We need not wait until fuel prices once again rise above $4 to enact a sensible energy policy, and it is time that the Senate and the President join with us. As the House continues to lead the way on getting our economy back on track, I was proud to cast my vote in support of this commonsense legislation which replaces the Administration's unreasonable and irresponsible energy plan with a plan to create Virginia jobs and spur American economic growth."