Congressman John Culberson (R-TX) issued the following statement in response to President Obama's speech today on expanding domestic oil and gas development:
"Today the White House announced that the Department of the Interior "is developing incentives for expedited development of oil and gas production from existing and future leases.' The fact of the matter is that oil and gas companies do not need "incentives for expedited development.' They are in the business of supplying energy to the world and have every incentive to produce as much oil and gas as possible.
"The only people who need "incentives' are the ones sitting in the president's administration who are proposing additional regulations that will further slow the leasing process. Recently the Obama administration proposed "use-it-or-lose-it' fees on top of annual rental payments companies are required to pay for underdeveloped leases. Depending on the area and water depth, it can take up to 10 years to develop a lease in a safe and environmentally responsible way. At the end of this lengthy and costly process, companies often find that the leased area does not contain any useful amount of oil or natural gas.
"You don't need a PhD in economics to understand that further regulations will only serve to eliminate jobs and raise energy prices for struggling American families and businesses. Sadly, we've already seen American jobs leave the Gulf Coast and head to the president's recently championed Brazil as a result of this administration's de facto moratorium on offshore drilling. Adding insult to injury, industries are starting to relocate to countries like India and China, where no emissions standards exist, providing zero net benefit to our environment."