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Westerman Joins Scalise for Offshore Energy Tour


WASHINGTON, D.C., April 21, 2022 -

Today, House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) joined House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) and other Republican members for a tour of Louisiana's offshore oil and gas industry.

"Democrats love to demonize the oil and gas industry, yet they forget how it employs hardworking American men and women and benefits conservation programs across the country," Westerman said. "It's so important to see these functional rigs in person and hear from folks on the ground about the advancements they're making and the innovation they're implementing. With gas prices constantly on the rise, it's imperative we work together to find bipartisan solutions that tap into our rich natural resources right here at home and eliminate our dependence on OPEC and foreign adversaries. Unfortunately, the Biden administration has not issued any new offshore leases or a new five-year leasing plan, leaving the industry in constant limbo. It's no way to run a country, and I look forward to using the feedback we got during this trip to craft sound energy policy in Congress."

"By canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, banning oil and natural gas leasing on federal land, and imposing significant regulatory burdens on U.S. energy production, Democrats’ anti-energy policies are wreaking havoc on American families," Scalise said." The good news is that we have the resources right here in the United States that would reverse the record-high gas prices created by President Biden. I am grateful to Ranking Member Westerman and all my colleagues who came to southeast Louisiana to see first-hand how energy production in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico can provide critical relief to millions of hardworking Americans all over the country who are suffering from Democrats’ war on American energy."

Background

The members began their trip with a tour of an offshore oil rig, where they surveyed the equipment in use and spoke with several of the workers on duty. They later heard from a variety of industry stakeholders and local leaders, who testified on the importance of offshore development and the benefits it provides to their communities and state industries.

While President Joe Biden recently announced a policy reversal opening some federal lands to oil and gas development, he has not issued any new oil and gas leases on federal waters. As of yet, the administration has released no plan of action for scheduling the three remaining offshore lease sales in the current five-year leasing plan or publishing a new five-year leasing plan before the current plan ends this summer.

The Gulf of Mexico is projected to produce an average of 2.6 million barrels per day of oil and natural gas from 2022 to 2040. Any delay in the five-year program could mean nearly 500,000 fewer barrels per day during that period. Gulf of Mexico offshore production supports 70,000 American jobs, and nearly 60,000 of those could be lost if the current programming is allowed to expire. A delay could also reduce the $900 million per year of oil and natural gas revenues that are allocated to the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a fund which supports the upkeep and maintenance for parks, conservation and recreation efforts across all 50 states.


Contact: Committee Press Office 202-226-9019

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