“They saw that the Republican House was serious about addressing the issue of the supply of our oil produced within our shores,” Burgess said. (His comments are about 38 minutes into the hearing video.)
The bill faces highly uncertain prospects in the Senate and White House opposition.
The Texas lawmaker’s comment reflects an increasingly common GOP argument that expanding offshore development will quickly help reduce oil and gasoline prices, even though leasing is just the first step for often complex projects that generally would not bring new supplies online for years.
The federal Energy Information Administration has estimated that even a major expansion of domestic offshore development would have very little impact on world oil prices or U.S. gasoline prices.