U.S. Chamber’s Energy Institute Applauds House Approval of Energy Production Bill

Wednesday, June 20, 2012 - 8:00pm

Laments Obama Administration’s Missed Energy Opportunities

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – The U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy today applauded House passage of an energy bill that would streamline the permitting process for energy production and establish an “all of the above” energy policy for federal lands.   The 248-163 vote came despite opposition from the White House.

“The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act approved by the House today provides some common sense measures that would reduce red tape and allow our economy to grow faster,” said Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber’s Energy Institute.  “Unfortunately, the Obama Administration continues to claim that it supports an “all of the above” energy approach, yet threatened to veto legislation that moves us closer to that goal.”

The legislation (HR. 4480) would bring greater certainty to leasing for energy development, streamline the permitting process for all types of energy production, and require an analysis of several EPA rules affecting the supply of gasoline and diesel.   A letter from the Chamber’s executive vice president for government affairs, R. Bruce Josten, in support of the bill is available here. 

The House vote came one day after a highly successful lease sale for oil and natural gas resources in the Gulf of Mexico that generated over $1.7 billion.  However, the sale was the final one under the previous Five Year Plan for oil and natural gas development.  The Obama Administration has proposed a new Five Year Plan which closes new offshore areas to energy production and imposes more restrictive regulations on future lease sales.

“Yesterday’s lease sale in the Gulf demonstrates the enormous opportunities that exist to create jobs and generate revenue to address our ballooning deficit by developing our energy resources,” said Harbert.  “Unfortunately, in stark contrast to the approach taken by the House today which would streamline the permitting process, the administration is moving in the wrong direction.  Their  proposed Five Year Plan makes no new areas of production available, cuts the number of lease sale offerings in half, and places further restrictions on leases to make them less attractive.”

The administration’s Five Year Plan does not permit any energy production in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and only includes areas of the Gulf that were open for production prior to 2008.   The restrictions will cost America billions in revenue and thousands of jobs. 

The mission of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for 21st Century Energy is to unify policymakers, regulators, business leaders, and the American public behind a common sense energy strategy to help keep America secure, prosperous, and clean. Through policy development, education, and advocacy, the Institute is building support for meaningful action at the local, state, national, and international levels.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.