7/23 @ 10:00 AM ET | GOP Leadership Press Conference - WATCH LIVE HERE

With the unemployment rate still above nine percent, the job-crushing impacts of the Obama Administration’s moratorium on American energy are “still being felt today,” said one witness at today’s Natural Resources Committee hearing.  According to Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA), “[t]his official moratorium” in the Gulf Coast, which ended one year ago, “was followed by a de facto moratorium.”  And witnesses at today’s hearing testified that the moratorium continues to hurt economic growth by:

  • Keeping Americans from getting back to work…  Bruce Craul, of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association testified that, “All of the jobs associated with these rigs left our Gulf area.  The electricians, the crew boat operators, painters, plumbers, caterers, managers and supervisors, etc. are still unemployed or have left the area to go to where they can find work.”  Chris Auer with Crevalle Management Services says the people of the Gulf Coast are simply, “asking for the handcuffs to be removed so that they can do their part in keeping the United States rolling.”
  • Driving down American energy production that creates new jobs…  Sean Shafer with Quest Offshore Resources, Inc., testified that the “long term effects of the moratorium and subsequent regulatory slowdown will lead to lower development levels in the Gulf of Mexico which will lower oil and gas production levels and associated employment and economic activity levels in the economy.”  He goes on to say, “From a permitting, rig, and drilling activity perspective the industry is at best flat compared to where it was before the drilling moratorium, with the growth that had been previously expected both delayed and diminished.”
  • Sending American jobs overseas… Cory Kief with Offshore Towing, Inc., testified that “drilling contractors are leaving the gulf to go work in other countries that have the ability to obtain steady financial commitments.  These drilling contractors have already demonstrated that they will not stay in the U.S. waiting for the government to ‘get their act together’ and iron out the wrinkles in this new regulatory environment.”

In May, the House passed three American Energy Initiative bills (H.R. 1229, H.R. 1230, H.R. 1231) to roll back the Obama Administration’s de facto moratorium on American energy production.  Unfortunately, the Democrat-controlled Senate has failed to act and President Obama has opposed these responsible measures to promote more American energy production.  Learn more about the GOP plan to create new jobs by removing the barriers that are holding back American energy production, which are part of the GOP’s Plan for American Job Creators, at jobs.GOP.gov and be sure to “Like” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook.