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Public Statements

Offshore Energy and Jobs Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Chair the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, which raises several issues important to every Member of the House:

Energy production and independence

Environmental protection and preservation; and

Job creation for minorities and women

Given the importance of these issues, I believe the House would have benefitted from a bill I introduced during the 111th and the 112th Congress. H.R. 3710--The Deficit Reduction, Job Creation and Energy Security Act of 2011 and of 2012.

My bill proclaimed a placement for the next generation. The introduction of H.R. 3710 indicated a collaborative approach in response of the call from Americans across the U.S., calling for jobs today. H.R. 3710 will do exactly that plus provide huge benefits to our national and local economies, and increase our energy supply and independence from foreign oil.

The energy bill I offered calls for the secretary of interior to increase the total lease acreage set forth in the proposed outer continental shelf oil & gas leasing program for 2012-2017 by an additional 10 percent.

This 10% increase shall be known as the deficit reduction acreage. As such, the secretary shall lease 20% of the deficit reduction acreage each year from 2012-2017. All proceeds from the deficit reduction acreage shall be deposited into the deficit reduction energy security fund.

For 15 years after issuance of the first lease or receipt of the first payment coming from the deficit reduction energy security fund, all proceeds shall be deposited into an interest bearing account for a period of 2 years. Upon expiration of the 2 year period, these proceeds shall be distributed as follows:

The interest gained during 2 year period shall be placed in the Coastal and Ocean Sustainability and Health Fund (COSH);

And the principle from the deficit reduction energy security fund shall be deposited into the U.S. Treasury and applied directly toward deficit reduction.

The cosh fund will establish grants for States (coastal and disaster grant program an]) a national grant program) for addressing coastal and ocean disasters, restoration, protection, and maintenance of coastal areas and oceans, including research and programs in coordination with State and local agencies.

My bill also establishes an Office of Ocean Energy Employment and Training at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement, which shall be empowered and directed to oversee the efforts of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement Ocean Energy Planning, permitting and regulatory activities to carry out the purposes, objectives and requirements of this act.

And my bill establishes the Office of Minority and Women Inclusion that will require the Secretary to take affirmative steps to seek diversity in all levels of such department, and to be responsible for all matters of the Department of the Interior relating to diversity in management, employment, and business activities.

As a representative from Houston, Texas, representating the energy capital of America, I realize that energy is the lifeblood of every economy.

I also realize that the oil and gas industry provides many jobs for many of my constituents and opportunities for small businesses in my district.

Therefore, it is critical that while seeking solutions to secure more energy independence within this country, we must strike a balance that will still support an environment for continued growth in the oil and gas industry that creates millions of jobs across the entire country.

My bill guarantees to pay down the deficit, create grant dollars for local government entities, and creates a job training and employment office for minorities and women at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement.

Mr. Chair, I ask the Chairman and the Ranking Member to work with me on my bill, H.R. 3710, to create a robust job creation bill that pays down the deficit, creates grant dollars and establishes an office for employment and job training for minorities and women.

H.R. 2231 touches the surface but does not penetrate into the crust of a real offshore job creation bill.

My bill, H.R. 3710 requires the department to utilize its authorities regarding the leasing and development of offshore oil and gas resources to accelerate job creation and economic revitalization to the fullest extent practicable, taking into account the department's responsibilities regarding conservation, safety and protection of the environment; promotes expansion of domestic employment opportunities; responds to the Nations increased need for domestic oil and natural gas resources; and supports the utilization of the outer continental shelf for oil and gas production and transmission.

H.R. 2231, does not provide the key components, in which I propose in H.R. 3710, and for these reasons, I am opposed to the bill and cannot support it.


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