WASHINGTON—Yesterday, US Senators Bill Cassidy, MD (R-LA), Thom Tillis (R-NC) and John Kennedy (R-LA) introduced the Unleashing American Energy Act of 2017. After 8 years of significant restrictions on energy exploration and development, American workers and industry are eager to pursue American energy independence.
This legislation empowers the Secretary of the Interior to add additional lease sales to an existing 5-year leasing plan, allowing for more American energy investments that would pay dividends for decades to come. President Trump pledged to add millions of American jobs and make America energy dominant. The Unleashing American Energy Act of 2017 would provide his administration the flexibility to do just that.
“This legislation creates better-paying energy jobs with better benefits for working families,” said Dr. Cassidy. “It unleashes domestic energy production which creates these jobs, generates revenue to balance our budget, and increases America’s energy independence.”
“This legislation is an important first step to cutting several layers of bureaucratic red tape that will allow for the responsible exploration of offshore energy,” said Senator Tillis. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pursue a national energy policy that will put America on the path to energy independence and help lower utility bills for hardworking families in North Carolina.”
“The energy sector is the lifeblood of the American and Louisiana economies,” said Senator Kennedy. “The restrictions that have been placed on our energy sector from the previous administration have stunted our economy and cost us thousands of good paying jobs. This bill will provide more job opportunities for hardworking Americans and will help our country realize our goal of energy independence.”
To read the full legislative text, click here.
Our nation’s offshore areas hold at least 480 Trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 101 Billion barrels of oil. Currently, only 6% of the Outer Continental Shelf is available for energy production. The former administration reversed plans to offer lease sales in the Atlantic and additional lease areas off of Alaska, which cost American jobs and denied potentially billions of dollars of investment in the U.S economy. A Quest Offshore Resources report projects that development in the Atlantic alone could create 279,562 jobs and trigger $194 billion of investments by 2035.
The arrival of the new administration has many in the offshore economy optimistic about the future. However, the administration faces a long process to create a new 5-year leasing plan, which typically takes 24-36 months to finalize. Americans should not need to wait to develop our own resources and delay job and economic growth. The Unleashing American Energy Act of 2017 seeks to remedy this issue by empowering the Secretary of the Interior to add additional lease sales to an existing 5-year plan.
What this legislation achieves:
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