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Newt Gingrich testimony before the House Committee on Energy and Commerce.

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Solutions for more oil and natural gas development

1. Provide the leases and the necessary permitting to allow expanded offshore drilling for oil and natural gas to occur more rapidly. Expanded offshore drilling is a necessary first step that will help lower oil and natural gas prices in the short and long term.

2. Change federal law to allow drilling for oil and natural gas in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). This is a necessary first step that will allow for the development of the most easily accessible known oil reserves in the United States.

3. Change federal law to allow for development of oil shale in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado. Right now, Congress prohibits the Department of Interior (DOI) from using any funding to finish writing regulations for issuing leases to companies for oil shale exploration. The ban also stops the DOI from finalizing an environmental impact statement that must be completed before any oil shale development can begin. Lifting this moratorium will allow the DOI to finalize the regulations and complete the environmental study so we can expand oil shale development.

4. Change federal law to incentivize those states that want to permit exploration to do so with appropriate safeguards

5. Change federal law to give all states with offshore oil and gas the same share of federal royalties as most states get for land-based resources (48 percent). Today most states get zero royalties from offshore oil and gas development, while states like Wyoming earn 48 percent of federal royalties for its land-based oil and gas. If Richmond, Tallahassee, and Sacramento suddenly had the potential to find billions of dollars a year in new revenues for their state budgets, their willingness to embrace new oil and gas development with appropriate environmental safeguards might increase dramatically.

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