Hurt: Expanding American Energy Production

by Congressman Robert Hurt (R-VA05)

This past week started off with a great victory in the war on terror.

It is my hope that the death of Osama bin Laden brings some amount of justice and closure to the families of the victims of September 11th and to those who have lost loved ones throughout the war on terror.

As we remain vigilant in our fight against terrorism and continue our efforts to protect our country from those who seek to do us harm, we will be forever grateful to the brave men and women of our military and intelligence community whose hard work, dedication, and sacrifice helped bring Osama bin Laden to justice.

I want to congratulate the members of the Navy SEAL Team Six, based in Virginia, who were responsible for carrying out this mission. And I commend President Obama, President Bush, and their teams for their resolve in seeing this mission through to its success.

Returning to Washington this past week, the House voted on the first of three pieces of legislation aimed at maximizing American energy production to reduce the pain at the pump for 5th District Virginians.

Passing the House with bipartisan support, H.R. 1230, the “Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act,” would expand American energy production and create jobs by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia that have been delayed or cancelled by the Obama Administration.

It is estimated that offshore energy development in Virginia could lead to the production of more than half a billion barrels of oil and 2.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. By reversing the Administration’s actions to delay Virginia’s lease sale, and tapping into these resources to increase our domestic energy supply, we will take a significant step towards lowering gas prices, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and creating thousands of jobs for the Commonwealth.

Skyrocketing energy costs are directly and negatively impacting families and small businesses across Central and Southside Virginia, costing jobs, and threatening our economic recovery. The House has and will continue to take action to address this issue and help move us towards achieving true energy independence, and it is my hope that the Democrat-led Senate and White House will do the same by supporting this measure.