McMorris Votes to Increase Domestic Oil and Gas Supply by Allowing Deep Sea Energy Exploration

(Washington, D.C.)  Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) today took steps to decrease our dependence on foreign oil by supporting H.R. 4761 The Deep Ocean Energy Resources (DOER) Act. This legislation will expand America’s energy resources by permitting expanded oil and gas exploration in the deep seas on the outer-continental shelf (OCS).

“We must be taking steps to meet our own domestic energy needs and this bill will significantly help in accomplishing that goal,” said McMorris. “With the United States being the only developed nation in the world not to allow energy production off its shores, it is clear that we are failing to capitalize on a huge resource that will improve our economy, create jobs, and increase our national security.”

The DOER Act enables the United States to produce energy in the deep waters beyond 100 miles from the coastlines. The Executive Moratorium, which prevents producing energy resources on the OCS, will remain in permanent law for the first 50 miles from the coast. Costal States will then have the power to decide if they will allow natural gas production, oil production, both, or neither on the second 50 miles.

According to the U.S. Minerals Management Service, America’s OCS contains 420 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 86 billion barrels of oil. By comparison, the U.S. consumers 23 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and imports 4.5 billion barrels of oil per year. The U.S. currently sends over $300 billion overseas every year to import energy, accounting for one-third of our annual trade deficit.

Technological innovations will ensure that deep sea energy production is safe. Any energy exploration resulting from this bill would be conducted under current environmental regulations to protect and enhance our natural resources.

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