For the last 30 years, I have been involved in finding solutions to America's long-term energy security. I ran for Congress because I am very concerned about America's economic future and about the opportunities for our children and grandchildren to be able to experience the "American Dream."
Because of the Obama Administration's energy policies, thousands of people remain out of work while American families struggle under the pressure of high gasoline prices. Yet, the Obama Administration continues to block and delay domestic energy production, driving energy prices even higher, and adversely impacting our country's economic opportunity, energy security and national security. Since President Obama took office the national average price of gasoline has more than doubled. The energy policies of the Obama Administration have resulted in the production loss of hundreds of thousands of barrels of domestic oil production each day. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), offshore oil production is expected to drop 13 percent in 2011.
Our country needs an American Energy Plan that includes adverse set of efficient energy sources that are clearly safe, healthy, that allow us to move toward energy independence, and to eliminate our dependence on Middle East oil. House Republicans have put together an American Energy Plan for the future that fulfills those needs for our country, creates American jobs, and grows the American economy. This plan includes unlocking access and tapping into the vast amounts of taxpayer-owned energy resources both on our public lands and off our coasts. We must expand access to oil and gas exploration in the U.S. rather than trying to force non-economic sources of energy and technologies into the marketplace. A market-based energy policy that opens supply and prudently balances economics and environmental benefits will lower prices, create jobs and reduce the need for Middle Eastern oil.
It is not too late to change our path, which is why I introduced two bills to increase domestic energy production in order to protect and create American jobs and increase energy security. H.R. 993, the Lease Extension and Secure Energy (LEASE) Act, would extend oil and gas exploration leases in the Gulf of Mexico that were impacted by the U.S. Department of Interior's drilling moratorium for an additional 12 months. H.R. 1115, the Expedited Offshore Permitting Act, would establish more stringent deadlines and other requirements for the issuance of drilling permits in the Gulf. It is time we put the American workers and companies back to work in the Gulf of Mexico and restore stability and certainty by unlocking access and tapping into the vast amounts of taxpayer-owned resources that currently sit idle.
In May, the House passed three bills, which I co-sponsored, to increase our domestic energy production and put Americans back to work. H.R. 1230, the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, which passed the House on May 5, would require the Obama Administration to stop delaying offshore lease sales in the Gulf and offshore Virginia. H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act, passed by the House on May 11, would end the Obama Administration's de facto drilling moratorium and restart drilling in a safe, responsible and transparent manner. I am pleased to report that this bill included language I authored to extend certain leases affected by the moratorium for one year. H.R. 1231, the Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act, which passed the House on May 12, would require the Obama Administration to expand access to areas that contain the most oil and natural gas reserves. This legislation would spur the creation of 250,000 jobs short-term and 1.2 million jobs long-term for American workers.
Developing America's energy resources has been a crucial, yet hotly-debated issue and will continue to be a pressing matter as the global demand for energy increases. To address this growing concern, our focus as a country must turn towards access to American energy sources that will create jobs, grow our economy, and reduce our nation's dependence on sources from foreign countries. I strongly support House GOP American Energy Plan that includes development of natural gas, clean coal, and American oil, as well as alternative energy sources such as wind, solar, hydropower, nuclear, geothermal and biomass.