This week, the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Sally Jewell announced that the outer-continental shelf of the Mid-Atlantic coast would be off limits to oil and gas production under its 5-year plan for offshore energy production.
Western Caucus Chairman Cynthia Lummis stated in reponse, “Once again, President Obama has pulled the rug out from under America’s energy future, following up an already weak outer-continental shelf leasing program by slamming the door on energy production altogether in the Mid-Atlantic,” said Chairman Lummis. “Energy potential in this area is substantial; it could create thousands of American jobs and help make the United States a global energy leader. But instead of putting the needs of the nation first, the President continues to recklessly lock up vast energy reserves on federal lands and waters. These actions might secure the President’s legacy with special interest groups, but they will have serious, long-term consequences for American workers and families who want an energy secure America.”
“I am disappointed, but not surprised, that this Administration would once again choose placating political allies over helping the economic needs of the American people,” said Rep. Duncan. “We know that offshore energy development can be done safely and that it creates tens of thousands of jobs. We know that our economy needs the long term boost that energy jobs can provide. We’ve also seen transformative impact that energy revenue can have on state budgets, helping finance infrastructure needs and contributing to conservation efforts. I am hopeful that a new Administration will choose to take another look at this issue through the long term lenses of economic development and energy security rather than seek cheap political points by continuing to oppose progress,” stated Western Caucus member Rep. Jeff Duncan.