GOP seeks to expand oil and gas offshore and on public land

Thirteen House Republicans introduced a bill to expand oil and natural gas drilling offshore and on publicly owned land, moves they say would lower gasoline and other energy prices in the United States.

The bill would force the Obama administration to move toward offshore drilling on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, conduct lease sales off Virginia’s coast, establish revenue sharing for offshore drilling, reform the permitting process for federal land and other changes.

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“In order for America to prosper, we need access to reliable and affordable energy,” Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said in a Thursday statement. “The best way to create jobs and help address rising prices is to develop the American energy resources we have right here at home.”

The sponsors said the legislation aims to remove “roadblocks” to energy production. 

Those roadblocks from the Obama administration have led to drops in oil and gas production both offshore and on federal land. Eighty-seven percent of offshore area is off limits to oil and gas drilling, and Obama’s plans do not include opening more areas for production, they said.

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