Hastings, chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said that, in light of budget cuts known as sequestration, one of the best ways to raise money without raising taxes is through energy production.
"The United States has yet to reach its full energy potential but it can if the Obama administration would simply get out of the way and allow the people's energy resources to be harnessed," Hastings said during congressional testimony.
U.S. crude oil production is at historic highs, though Republicans like Hastings contend there's more to gain by giving energy companies access to oil and natural gas resources in places other than private and state land.
"In light of record debt and deficits, and the current sequestration cuts going into effect, we should be looking for every opportunity possible to raise new revues without raising taxes," he said.
U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar last week warned the mandatory budget cuts could affect offshore and onshore energy development plans, as well as domestic renewable energy programs, on public land.
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