Rep. Stivers’ bill promises millions of new jobs (USA)
Congressman Steve Stivers, the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 15th congressional district, recently re-introduced the American-Made Energy and Infrastructure Jobs Act. Stivers promises the legislation will create millions of American jobs through expanded drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and generate new revenue to help pay for initiatives to repair and improve infrastructure.
“This legislation is a creative, simple solution to rising energy costs, high unemployment, and our aging infrastructure,” Stivers said. “Not only will this legislation create jobs through harnessing American-made energy, but we will also lessen our dependence on foreign oil, which could lower gas prices.”
According to Stivers, the plan opens up untapped oil and natural gas resources in the OCS that will raise revenue from new off-shore drilling leases and provide a new, dedicated source of revenue to fund highway, transportation and water infrastructure projects. Specifically, Stivers’ plan:
• Opens new offshore areas to energy production by requiring the Obama Administration to submit a new lease plan in 2015 for developing the United States’ offshore energy resources. The Obama Administration’s current five-year plan keeps 85 percent of our offshore areas off-limits to energy production.
• Requires that each five-year offshore leasing plan includes lease sales in the areas containing the greatest known oil and natural gas reserves. Areas with the greatest known reserves are specifically defined as those estimated to contain 2.5 billion barrels of oil or 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. At least 50 percent of those areas must be made available for leasing in the plan.
• Establishes revenue sharing of offshore revenues for coastal states, which allows states in the Gulf of Mexico to continue to receive 37.5 percent of revenue from new leases under the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act (GOMESA) and, after a phase in, extends the 37.5 percent revenue sharing percentage to other coastal states with energy production off their shores.
• Requires the following lease sales to occur, which were delayed or canceled by the Obama Administration: the coast of Virginia, the coast of South Carolina, and the coast of California.
• Authorizes the Secretary of the Treasury to issue non-government backed, 20-year interest bearing bonds to provide an up-front funding source for transportation projects. The Secretary would be authorized to issue $25 billion per year over six years, providing a new, dedicated source of revenue for the Highway Trust Fund and the State Revolving Loan Funds.
• Creates new opportunities for future offshore energy production in new areas by including U.S. territories in the Department of the Interior’s resource assessment studies.
In the 112th Congress, Stivers’ infrastructure jobs bill was included as the energy portion of the House’s multi-year highway reauthorization, the Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resources Security (PIONEERS) Act. The PIONEERS Act passed the House on February 16, 2012.