House Republicans ask DOI for next OCS, oil shale steps

With the recent expiration of OCS and oil shale leasing moratoriums, US House Republicans asked DOI to identify steps Congress should take to ensure resources in reopened areas are developed soon.

Nick Snow
Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Oct. 3 -- With the expiration of US Outer Continental Shelf and oil shale leasing moratoriums a day earlier, US House Republicans asked Interior Secretary Dirk A. Kempthorne on Oct. 2 to identify steps Congress should take to ensure potential resources in reopened areas are developed soon.

"We are concerned by media reports that radical anti-energy groups may, with the tacit support of the Democratic leadership, file a barrage of lawsuits to continue to deny the American people access to these vital sources of American-made energy," Minority Leader John H. Boehner (Ohio), Minority Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) and seven more House Republicans said in a letter to Kempthorne.

"We are also concerned by speculation that federal red tape and bureaucratic hurdles exist that will prevent Americans from gaining quick access to these resources. Such delays would needlessly hinder the creation of tens of thousands of good American jobs and further slow our nation on its path to lower [gasoline] prices and energy independence," they continued.

They asked Kempthorne to promptly identify such barriers and potential litigation as well as responsible actions which Congress might take to ensure that resources in the reopened areas "are fully and completely unlocked in the most expeditious manner possible."

House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam (Fla.), Vice Chairwoman Kay Granger (Tex.) and Secretary John Carter (Tex.) also signed the letter, along with House Republican Committee Chairman Thaddeus McCotter (Mich.), Chief Deputy Minority Whip Eric Cantor (Va.), Rules Committee Ranking Minority Member David Drier (Calif.) and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.).

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