Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) voted today to increase American energy production by forcing the Obama Administration to open up domestic land for oil and natural gas development.
"The more we depend on foreign energy, the less energy secure we are," said Congressman Bill Johnson. "The Obama Administration is actively blocking and delaying American energy production, threatening our national security by forcing us to rely on agreements with countries that may be hostile to us. We should aggressively pursue American energy, which will create jobs and help get our economy back on track."
The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act, which was voted on in the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources, will create new American jobs, expand American energy production and lower energy costs by providing access to remote areas of Alaska for oil and natural gas development. Specifically, the National Petroleum Alaska Access Act will:
* Make clear that the National Petroleum Reserve -- Alaska is explicitly designated for oil and natural gas development;
* Require that annual lease sales be held for parts of the reserve with the most oil and natural gas resources;
* Streamline the permitting process to ensure lease sales actually lead to energy development and transportation out of the reserve and delivery to the continental U.S.;
* Set firm timelines for infrastructure permits to be approved so that bureaucratic delays do not prevent oil and natural gas resources from being transported out of the reserve. The legislation would set a 60-day timeframe to approve infrastructure permits for leases where the Secretary of the Interior has already issued a drilling permit and a 6-month timeframe to approve permits for all other existing and future federal leases;
The Natural Resources Committee also approved the following legislation, which will further increase American energy production:
* The Cutting Red Tape to Facilitate Renewable Energy Act passed by a bipartisan vote of 24-16. The bill accelerates the development of clean, renewable energy projects on federal lands to create jobs and protect the environment. The bill requires an environmental review to be conducted for the specific location where the renewable energy project would be located.
* The Exploring Geothermal Energy on Federal Lands Act passed by a bipartisan vote of 26-16. The bill establishes a common sense, streamlined policy for the development of clean geothermal energy resources. The bill reduces redundancy and bureaucratic delays by requiring only a single environmental review to be completed for all geothermal exploration test holes within the same leased area.
* The Utilizing America's Federal Lands for Wind Energy Act passed by a bipartisan vote of 27-16. This bill speeds the production of clean, renewable energy by streamlining the process to develop onshore wind power on BLM and U.S. Forest Service lands. The bill also sets a 30-day timeline for issuing permits on federal land and streamlines the regulatory requirements for installing temporary infrastructure to test and monitor weather.
* The Advancing Offshore Wind Production Act passed by a bipartisan vote of 24-18. The bill would streamline the process for the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to approve temporary infrastructure, such as towers or buoys, to test and develop offshore wind power in the Outer Continental Shelf.