When news editors met for the annual agenda-setting conclave last month, they determined that the official theme for today, April 13, would be “Gas Prices are Really High and Getting Higher!”

Those with adequate news-gathering resources would do the second part of the story, the conclavists agreed: “High gas prices could slow economic growth.”

Today the House Natural Resources Committee is scheduled to vote on three bills that could lend some stability to fuel prices by increasing production of domestic energy, legislation that comprises the American Energy Initiative. The bills represent good policy no matter what the gas prices are.

The Committee news release lists the bills:

  • The Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229) would end the Obama Administration’s de facto moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico in a safe, responsible, transparent manner by setting firm time-lines for considering permits to drill, which provide certainty and allow employers and workers to get back on the job.
  • The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230) would require the Obama Administration to move forward promptly to conduct offshore lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that the Obama Administration has delayed or canceled. Due to the Obama Administration’s actions, in 2011 there will be no offshore lease sales – the first time since 1958.
  • The Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R. 1231) would lift the President’s ban on new offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to move forward in the 2012-2017 lease plan with energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources.
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