Brady Leads Bipartisan Bill to Unlock America's Energy Potential
by Kevin Brady on February 26, 2021 at 1:58 PM
Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-TX) and I recently introduced the More Energy More Jobs Act, legislation that will empower U.S. governors to formally nominate land for offshore oil and gas development and require at least two area-wide lease sales annually in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico.
As Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee negotiated an end to the 40-year ban on selling U.S. crude oil overseas, I released a statement upon introduction of the More Energy More Jobs Act:
“As we continue to recover from this pandemic, our nation needs more good-paying jobs and affordable energy prices for the American people. Few nations develop energy as responsibly and with as strict environmental standards as America does, and energy independence is something we should celebrate. This can't be controlled only by Washington, D.C. We must work with our states to continue unlocking our offshore energy resources responsibly.”
“Our country’s offshore oil and natural gas industry is essential for job creation, the economy, and national security,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar. “This legislation will help ensure that we have access to critical energy resources while also maintaining critical environmental safeguards.As we continue to recover from the pandemic, it is critical that we invest in policy that supports American jobs. I am committed to working in a bipartisan fashion to create collaborative, common-sense policy that addresses clean energy, protects American jobs and moves our country forward.”
BACKGROUND: Drilling in Gulf of Mexico supports approximately 345,000 jobs and provides critical funding for conservation efforts and hurricane preparedness. Additionally, U.S. offshore oil and gas production has among the lowest associated greenhouse gas emissions compared to other sources of hydrocarbons. The More Energy More Jobs Act allows states to identify offshore areas for inclusion in the federal government’s five year leasing plan. Specifically, the legislation:
- Allows the governor of a coastal state to nominate for leasing any OCS areas adjacent to state waters.
- Directs the Department of the Interior (DOI) to conduct the economic and environmental studies that are the important first steps for inclusion in the lease plan.
- Allows DOI to retain limited discretion to eliminate nominated areas if it is determined the development is not consistent with principles set forth in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
- Requires two area-wide lease sales annually in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico.
All current environmental and safety laws are maintained, and the bill ensures that the environmental reviews required by law are accomplished within a set time frame.
You can view the bill text here.