GOP: Energy key to budget woes

March 13, 2013 at 7:16 AM

WASHINGTON, March 13 (UPI) -- Energy production in the United States could provide a substantial revenue stream but the White House is standing in the way, U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings said.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and chairman of the House Budget Committee, unveiled an economic proposal Tuesday he says will balance the federal budget in 10 years. Part of the revenue outlined in his proposal would come from expanded oil and gas exploration and the construction of the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said Ryan's energy proposals represent one of the best ways to raise revenue. President Barack Obama, however, is standing in the way.

"Onshore and offshore American energy production on our federal lands currently accounts for the second largest source of revenue to the U.S. Treasury," Hastings said in a statement.

"Yet the full potential of our energy resources will never be realized if the Obama administration continues to keep our energy resources under lock-and-key."

U.S. oil and gas production reached historic highs during Obama's first term, though his critics credit policies enacted by President George Bush for that achievement.

Republican leaders have pressed the White House to open more federal land to developers.

The White House, in a statement, said Ryan's plan, which mirrors earlier proposals, would have "serious consequences" for middle-class Americans.

"While the House Republican budget aims to reduce the deficit, the math just doesn't add up," the statement read.

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