Congressman Steve Stivers (R -- Columbus) today joined his colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives in passing H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act. The legislation expands American energy production and creates jobs by requiring the Interior Department to conduct previously scheduled oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore in Virginia that have been delayed.
"Traveling throughout the district, I have heard time and time again from constituents they are concerned with increasing gas prices," Stivers said. "In early 2009, the national average price of gasoline was $1.84," Stivers said. "Today in my district a gallon of gas is up to $4.09, this is completely unacceptable. We must recognize that we need American energy to solve America's energy problem."
The Federal Government develops a five‐year plan to decide when and where offshore leasing and energy production will occur. The current five‐year plan for years 2007 through 2012, established by the Bush Administration, included a lease sale to take place off the Virginia Coast in 2011, two lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico in 2011, and an additional Gulf of Mexico lease sale in 2012.
By delaying and cancelling lease sales, the Administration is preventing American energy production, stifling American job creation and forfeiting much‐needed revenue. This bill will reverse the Administration's actions and proceed with the scheduled lease sales in a safe manner, without delay.
"Two-and-a-half years ago, we were facing the same high gasoline prices that we are currently experiencing, but then we expanded drilling and the prices went back down," Stivers said. "If we don't take action today, we will surely see the same problem arise again a few short years from now. We cannot continue to rely on other nations that do not have our country's best interests in mind."