Upton, Whitfield heading for Gulf to push drilling

In prepared statements about the trip, both Scalise and Upton took aim at White House policies they allege are thwarting U.S. energy development.

“American families know that we cannot achieve energy security by killing energy jobs and handcuffing American energy producers, and this tour will allow members of Congress from around the country to get a first-hand view of the technology and innovation involved in exploring for energy safely in the deep water,” said Scalise, a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee.

The trip will continue a GOP push for expanded offshore drilling that has been front-and-center on the House floor of late.

The House has passed a trio of offshore drilling bills over the last week sponsored by House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-Wash.).

The bills would set new deadlines for action on drilling permit requests, set deadlines for holding delayed Gulf of Mexico lease sales and open other coastal areas to drilling.

Three other lawmakers will also make the trip: Reps. Gene Green (D-Texas), Steve Womack (R-Ark.) and Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.).