Increased energy development on both America’s Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and its onshore federal acreage is the expected result of legislation unveiled last week. The legislation – HR 4239, the “Strengthening the Economy with Critical Untapped Resources to Expand American Energy Act” – was introduced by Republicans Steve Scalise of Louisiana and Rob Bishop of Utah along with Texas Democrats Henry Cuellar and Vicente González. They say the bill will spur economic investment in federal lands, diversify and expand domestic energy production, create jobs, and increase revenues to federal and state governments.
“The SECURE American Energy Act incentivizes offshore energy production by establishing revenue-sharing agreements for Alaska and qualified Atlantic states, and raises existing revenue-sharing caps so that Louisiana and other states can receive hundreds of millions in additional dollars to restore our coast,” Scalise said. The bill also “opens up more areas for responsible energy exploration, creating good jobs in communities all across our country. Our bill empowers states and optimizes onshore resource management by delegating certain permitting functions to state regulatory agencies instead of Washington,” he said.
Supporters say provisions in HR 4239 provide regulatory certainty and reliability, expand access to both conventional and renewable resources, establish revenue sharing with states, and streamline energy permitting processes to make federal lands and waters a competitive and attractive place for responsible development.