Rep. Gardner’s Jobs and Permitting Act passes House
WASHINGTON DC - Rep. Gardner's (R-CO) bill to streamline drilling permits in Alaska's Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) passed the House by a vote of 253 to 166 with bipartisan support Wednesday.
"This bill doesn't just relate to Alaska - it has to do with every American who is forced to suffer high gas prices and who wants to see our nation weaned off Middle East oil. Exploration in Alaska will bring relief at the pump, take us one step closer toward energy independence and create tens of thousands of jobs in Alaska and the rest of the country."
Production in Alaska's OCS could produce 1 million barrels of oil a day – comparable to what the US currently imports from Saudi Arabia. Right now, however, companies that have paid billions of dollars for offshore oil and gas leases are being held up by regulatory confusion between the EPA and the bureaucratically created appeals board that reviews permits.
The Jobs and Energy Permitting Act, H.R. 2021, will simplify the process by taking the appeals board out of the equation. The EPA will be required to grant or deny permits within six months of the request.
A companion measure has been introduced in the Senate with a bipartisan list of co-sponsors.