GOP-led House to drive oil agenda

WASHINGTON, June 27 (UPI) -- Congressional action is needed to unlock the full potential of energy production in U.S. coastal waters, a House energy committee leader said.

U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, said President Obama's speech on climate action Tuesday was tantamount to a "war" on conventional resources like coal and crude oil.


Obama proposed tighter measures on carbon emissions and more renewable energy use in the United States. Hastings said the president's plans would harm the economy, instead proposing more exploration offshore.

"It's time to take action to create over a million new American jobs and generate $1.5 billion in new revenue," he said in an article published Wednesday by The Hill. "This would significantly boost our economy and help to further remove us from the grip of foreign oil."

Hastings said House leaders this week will vote on a series of bills aimed at opening up acreage offshore.

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget said early this week it was opposed to one of those bills, a transboundary agreement with Mexico for offshore work, because it had transparency concerns.

Another bill would open acreage off the East Coast, where scientists are uncertain about the reserve potential.

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