Nice: GOP looking to thwart Obama admin's restrictive five-year drilling plan

The Obama administration’s recently released five-year drilling plan leaves much to be desired. It essentially offers American industries access to a mouth-watering morsel of our abundantly available natural resources while masquerading as a large-scale “all of the above”-ish energy plan. As the Interior Department detailed in their own report, however, we’re willfully passing up huge potential for economic growth and job creation through our quixotic, self-imposed limitations.

In response to the administration’s meager permitting plan, House Republicans are mounting an offensive to undermine it with the Congressional Replacement of President Obama’s Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan. Yes, that’s what it’s called. The proposed bill is only at the draft legislation stage with the Natural Resources Committee right now, but I like it the sound of it — it’s telling, straightforward, and just the tiniest bit cheeky.

The bill includes a plan that would replace the Obama Administration’s final offshore drilling plan, announced on June 28th, which keeps 85 percent of America’s offshore areas off-limits to energy production. Under current law (Section 18 of the Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Act), President Obama’s proposed plan does not become final and in effect until it undergoes a mandatory 60-day Congressional review…

“President Obama’s rewritten offshore plan represents a giant step backwards for American offshore energy production and a giant lost opportunity to create over a million new American jobs. The Obama plan closes off 85% of America’s offshore resources and effectively reimposes the drilling moratoria lifted by Congress and President Bush in 2008 when gas prices set record highs. Under the law, Congress has 60 days to review President Obama’s plan before it takes effect. The legislation that the Committee will act on would replace the energy-restricting and job-limiting Obama plan with a responsible, robust offshore drilling plan that will create new jobs by safely opening new areas known to possess the greatest offshore energy resources,”said Chairman Hastings.“The replacement plan specifically provides for opening offshore Virginia to drilling, with the first of several lease sales starting in 2013. President Obama cancelled a lease sale off Virginia scheduled for 2011 and the President’s plan doesn’t allow energy production off Virginia until 2017 or later.”

The Natural Resources Committee provides a few visuals that aptly illustrate the extent to which Obama’s plan would cut us off from our own assets. This is what the Obama administration’s plan looks like (hint, red means no):

And this is what the GOP’s plan looks like:

If there is one surefire method of creating productive, private-sector, economic growth-encouraging, federal revenue-boosting jobs, of which our economy is in dire need, it’s allowing the American energy sector to just do its thing without the strangling regulations and limited use imposed by the politically-influenced federal government. Please, Obama administration — get out of our way.

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