Rep. Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., chairman of the House Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources, said the United States should move quickly to determine the oil and gas reserve potential in the Atlantic Ocean given similar developments in Canada and Mexico.
"We need to know that our country is maintaining its competitive edge and attracting economic development and the thousands of jobs that come with it," he said during Friday testimony.
Lamborn's subcommittee heard from experts testifying on seismic surveys used to get a better understanding of the potential oil and natural gas deposits in the Atlantic.
The U.S. Interior Department said its information on the deposits is out of date.
The Interior Department's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is reviewing the potential environmental effects of surveys in the Atlantic Ocean. The bureau's deputy director, Walter Cruickshank, testified his agency would consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service before issuing permits for energy companies in the Atlantic basin.
Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., ranking member of the House Committee on Natural Resources, expressed concern last week about how marine mammals would be affected by potential seismic surveys.
The National Ocean Industries Association said in a December report about 1.34 million barrels of oil equivalent per day could be produced from the Atlantic basin by 2035.