Jul 26 2012
Measure Will Jumpstart America's Energy Industry, Boost Economy, Create Jobs
WASHINGTON - Senators John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) and a group of U.S. Senate and House leaders, including Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), today launched a Senate version of the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act of 2012 (DEJA), a comprehensive package of energy legislation that will not only reduce the high energy costs faced by hard-working families and small businesses, but also spur badly-needed economic growth and job creation across the U.S. economy. A similar measure was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last month. Hoeven is now introducing the legislation with additional features in the Senate.
DEJA is a wide-ranging package of 13 diverse energy bills, addressing both traditional and renewable development, designed to streamline and simplify regulations, boost domestic energy supplies, build American energy infrastructure and safeguard America’s supply of critical minerals used in modern high-tech manufactured products such as cell phones and computers.
Hoeven and McCarthy say the bicameral initiative embraces a true all-of-the-above approach to energy development that will help drive America’s overall economic recovery and enhance the nation’s energy security.
“Like my home state of North Dakota, our nation is blessed with an abundance of energy resources and the entrepreneurial talent to develop them for the benefit of our entire country,” Hoeven said. “The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act will take the same kind of comprehensive, step-by-step approach we’ve used in North Dakota to develop our nation’s vast energy resources in order to create jobs, lift up our economy and make our nation safer and more secure by boosting America’s energy security.”
“Our domestic energy resources are vital to my home state of Kentucky as well as the nation at large. Unfortunately, this administration and congressional Democrats have repeatedly taken steps to restrict and inhibit American energy production. This bill, however, represents a comprehensive, commonsense path forward,” said Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
“This country’s energy resources have the power to revive an anemic economy that has been consumed by unemployment over 8% for forty-one consecutive months,” said Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), House Majority Whip and a leader of the House Energy Task Force. “Although Washington Democrats refuse to acknowledge the facts that energy development is a job creator, several states have embraced the technological innovation that allows energy to be responsibly developed – thus creating tens of thousands of jobs and igniting a manufacturing renaissance. Our country is in desperate need of jobs, we can no longer ignore our abundant energy resources. If we do, we risk our global competitors passing us by.”
“The House has passed numerous bills to increase access to our American energy resources and create jobs – including a bipartisan vote yesterday to reject and replace the President’s proposed offshore drilling plan,” said Congressman Doc Hastings, Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee and Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources. “I’m pleased the Senate is introducing legislation to accomplish many of the same goals and urge Senate leaders to take immediate action on these job-creating energy bills.”
“Our nation needs a truly comprehensive, market-based approach to developing our vast and varied natural resources. Sen. Hoeven’s Domestic Energy and Jobs Act provides real leadership on the Keystone XL pipeline and fits well with our ongoing efforts to advance critical minerals, offshore development and revenue sharing.” Sen. Lisa Murkowski, ranking Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
“President Obama continues to block access to reliable and affordable sources of North American energy,” said Senator John Thune (R-S.D.), Chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. “Not only are the president’s policies driving up energy costs, but they are destroying jobs. The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act would approve the Keystone XL pipeline and jumpstart energy production from federal offshore and onshore areas. This bill will lead to more jobs and a more secure energy future for our country.”
“Our nation’s energy policy has turned into a slow-paced bureaucratic mess – largely due to the lack of leadership in the administration,” Sen. David Vitter said. “I’ve always said that an all of the above approach is the best way to solve our energy needs and create good paying jobs. Our bill accomplishes that and also puts our much-needed offshore energy resources to use.”
“As Chairman of the Senate Western Caucus, I know how important this bill is for job creation and American energy production,” said Sen. John Barrasso. “It takes responsible steps to streamline the leasing and permitting process for oil and natural gas production and stops the Administration’s attack on coal workers across America. As the White House likes to say, we can’t wait any longer on this legislation to be passed by Congress and signed into law.”
“We must pursue a visionary energy policy that protects us from global incidents, meets growing demands, and keeps prices affordable,” said Rep. Fred Upton, Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “The House has already passed a number of common-sense energy bills this Congress, and I welcome this effort in the Senate to help cut the red tape that is blocking access to American-made energy and jobs. Increased domestic energy production and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline are important steps we can take today that will help create jobs, stabilize energy prices, and put us on a path toward energy independence.”
“The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act is a critical piece of legislation that the House has passed to get our economy back on track,” said Rep. Rick Berg. “I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this important measure, and I commend Senator Hoeven for introducing it in the Senate. In North Dakota we have the lowest unemployment rate in the country and we’re seeing unprecedented economic growth. A large part of this success is due to our comprehensive energy policy and commonsense regulatory environment, and there is no reason why we should not be taking this proven approach to domestic energy production and applying it nationwide.”
“I encourage my friends in the Senate to support the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act,” said Rep. Ed Whitfield, Chairman, Subcommittee on Energy and Power; Subcommittee on Energy and Environment. “This very important legislation will help strengthen our economy, create jobs and set us on a path to bring down gas prices.”
“I urge Harry Reid and Senate Democrats to give this bill the serious consideration it deserves. This all-inclusive policy will help wean us of our dependence on foreign oil, and it will use American made energy to power our economy and create more American jobs. It is something Democrats and Republicans should be working on together," said Rep. Cory Gardner.
In addition to Hoeven, Senate sponsors include: Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Sens. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), David Vitter (R-La.), John Thune (R-S.D.), Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Dean Heller (R-Nev.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Dan Coats (R-Ind.), Rob Portman (R-Ohio), Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Thad Cochran (R-Miss.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Boozman (R-Ark.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kans.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Sen. Mike Johanns (R-Neb.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).
DOMESTIC ENERGY AND JOBS ACT OF 2012
Senator John Hoeven, Congressman Kevin McCarthy
July 26, 2012
Establish an American Energy Development Plan: Requires the Interior Secretary to establish an “all-of-the-above” energy program for federal lands by reviewing the nation’s energy needs and then establishing goals for federal land energy production to meet those needs from all energy sources, including oil, natural gas, coal and renewables.
- Approve of the Keystone XL Pipeline: Deems the environmental review process complete and allows TransCanada to construct the northern leg of the pipeline immediately except in Nebraska, while the state continues its routing process within the state. Keystone XL will bring 830,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries, including 100,000 barrel a day from U.S. producers.
- Freeze and Study the Impact of EPA Rules on Gasoline Regulations: Requires an interagency task force to conduct a cumulative analysis on certain EPA rules and actions that impact the price of gasoline and diesel fuels, providing for a better understanding of the costs and consequences of these rules.
- Provide Onshore Oil and Gas Leasing Certainty: Requires a minimum annual acreage leasing plan that makes available at least 25 percent of the lands open for leasing each year and set firm timelines for the Interior secretary to issue leases and adjudicate lease protests. It would prohibit the Secretary from withdrawing leases and adding additional lease stipulations after they have been sold.
- Advance Offshore Wind Production: Allows weather site testing for wind, tidal, current and solar mapping to discover and catalog potential energy on or in the waters of the Outer Continental Shelf. The bill limits the size of testing to one acre on the seafloor or five acres on the surface, and sets a 30 day deadline for issuance of a permit to test.
- Streamline Energy Permitting: Establishes a cost-recovery mechanism for permitting and protests and ensure that Bureau of Land Management (BLM) permitting offices have the personnel and resources necessary to approve energy development on federal lands. It includes hard timelines on permit approvals, cuts back on red tape, and reduces litigation. Applies to oil, natural gas, wind, coal, solar and other energy project permitting on federal lands.
- Provide Access to the National Petroleum Reserve Alaska (NPRA): Provides for leasing in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, an area of land on the Alaska North Slope managed by the BLM. The bill would reaffirm Congress’ intent that the land’s main purpose is for oil and natural gas resources and requires at least one lease sale in areas most likely to produce oil. It also directs the Interior and Transportation secretaries to work toward the development of pipelines and roads in the reserve, in an environmentally responsible manner.
- Hold BLM Live Internet Auctions: Gives the Interior Secretary the authority to conduct Internet-based auctions for onshore leases to ensure the best return to the federal taxpayer, reduce fraud and secure the leasing process.
- Establish a Mining Law Program or Solid Minerals Leasing Program: Freezes the Interior Department’s attempt to shift the regulation of coal mines from the Office of Surface Mining to the BLM or Office of Natural Resources Revenue.
- Increase State Revenue Sharing for Outer Continental Shelf Revenues: Changes the total amount a state can receive from Outer Continental Shelf revenues from $500,000 per year to $750,000 for the years 2023 to 2055.
- Offer Lease Sales off Virginia Coast: Directs the Interior Secretary to offer minerals off the shores of Virginia in a lease sale. The area covered by the sale is about 2.9 million acres at least 50 miles offshore of Virginia in the Mid-Atlantic Planning Area. The Bureau estimates that this area may contain 130 million barrels of oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The bill protects any military activities by prohibiting any activity that would conflict with any military operation.
- Limit New Regulations on Surface Mining: Prohibits the Interior Secretary from approving any regulation that would adversely impact employment in coal mines in the United States; cause a reduction in revenue received by the Federal Government or any State, tribal, or local government; reduce the amount of coal available for domestic consumption or for export; designate any area as unsuitable for surface coal mining and reclamation operations; or expose the United States to liability for taking the value of privately owned coal through regulation.
- Establish a Critical Minerals Policy Act: Directs the U.S. Geological Survey to establish a list of minerals critical to the U.S. economy and sets forth a comprehensive set of policies that will bolster critical mineral production, expand manufacturing and promote recycling and alternatives – all while maintaining strong environmental protections.