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This week, the House will consider the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act (H.R. 2021), American Energy Initiative legislation introduced by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) that would help end Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) permitting delays and unlock access to an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Alaska. According to Oliver Scott Goldsmith, Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska, boosting American energy production in Alaska will:

  • Create Tens of Thousands of Jobs in Alaska and Nationwide. “OCS development could add an annual average of 35,000 jobs to the Alaska economy over the next 50 years, offsetting the likely job loss from the continued decline of production on state lands. … These jobs and the sales of Alaska businesses providing support activities to the petroleum industry could be the foundation for a sustainable economy for the state for a more than a generation. … Alaska OCS development could also generate annual average employment of 28,500 in the rest of the US ...”
  • Boost Payroll by $75 Billion. These 35,000 Alaskan OCS jobs “would be high-paying year-round jobs with a combined payroll of $75 billion.”
  • Reduce Foreign Oil Imports by 10 Percent. “Development of these resources could result in production of more than 1 million barrels of oil per day for more than a generation. This could reduce foreign imports, currently 10 million barrels per day, by 10 percent and improve our balance of trade by $36 billion a year (at $100 per barrel cost of imported crude).” The Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Power notes that “the amount of estimated oil in Alaska’s Outer Continental Shelf could replace ALL of our imports from Saudi Arabia.”

According to Goldsmith, oil production in Alaska today “is only 1/3 the level of 20 years ago and continuing to fall at six percent each year.” Lynn Westfall, Executive Vice President of Turner Mason & Company, an energy consulting firm, warns that the decrease in American energy flowing through the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) could force the pipeline to shut down before 2030, making the U.S. even more dependent on foreign energy sources:

“At a historic decline rate of 4% per year, production of Alaskan crude will fall below the minimum operating rate for the Trans Alaska Pipeline in the early 2030’s.  The economics of production, however, may cause the cessation of supplies well before that time.  As evidenced from the past, declines in ANS crude will likely be replaced by supplies from OPEC countries, which will make the West Coast the most heavily dependent on OPEC supplies of any area in the U.S.”

By blocking American energy production in Alaska, the Obama Administration and the EPA are not only costing U.S. jobs and undermining America’s energy independence, but also putting local economies at risk. As Richard K. Glenn, Executive Vice President of Lands and Natural Resources for Arctic Slope Regional Corporation put it:

“Safe and responsible oil and gas development is the only industry that has remained in our region long enough to foster village improvements that have improved our quality of life.”

With the American Energy Initiative, the new House majority is working to stop Obama Administration policies that drive up gas prices, hamper U.S. energy production, and make it harder to create jobs. The House has already passed three bills to expedite American energy production in the Gulf and other areas, and will move that effort another step forward with passage of the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act this week.

Boosting U.S. energy production is also an integral part of Republicans’ Plan for America’s Job Creators, a serious blueprint for eliminating barriers to job growth, including the Obama Administration’s onerous regulatory burdens that have driven up gas prices and made it harder to create jobs. Learn more about the plan at Jobs.GOP.Gov and learn more and “like” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook: http://facebook.com/americanenergy.