Time for Action on our Nation's Energy Future

By Congressman Mike Turner

Everyone who has filled up their gas tank has seen that fuel prices have nearly doubled and are continuing to rise. In the Dayton area, gasoline prices spiked nearly 20 cents per gallon overnight. These rising gas prices are threatening the already struggling economic recovery and making it harder to create jobs. Our country's economic interests must be put ahead of election year politics. 

I have advocated for responsible energy solutions to begin to roll back the price of gasoline, and to decrease our dependence on foreign oil. That is why earlier this month I joined a bipartisan majority of the House in supporting the PIONEERS Act (H.R. 3408). This bill overrules President Obama’s decision to delay construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  The 1700-mile pipeline is a project that will create thousands of new, high-paying American jobs, help bring down gas prices, and put our country on a path to energy independence. This pipeline would extend from Canada to the Gulf and provide much needed access to Canada's increased oil production.

The Protecting Investment in Oil Shale the Next Generation of Environmental, Energy, and Resource Security (PIONEERS) Act is based on legislation that I cosponsored (H.R. 3548), which transfers permitting approval authority over the Keystone XL pipeline away from the President and the State Department, and over to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. This would allow construction to begin on the northern portion of the pipeline, while an acceptable route through the environmentally-sensitive areas of Nebraska is decided upon. The legislation is now awaiting action in the Senate.

In the last year, the House has passed, with my support, several bills like the PIONEERS Act. These pieces of legislation support projects like the Keystone XL pipeline that will expand our domestic energy production. I believe oil and gas exploration can be accomplished in an environmentally-safe manner under regulatory supervision and 21st century technologies. Unlocking our vast untapped resources here at home will put America on a path to energy independence, make us less dependent on foreign sources of oil, create the jobs we need to put Americans back to work, and over time, help bring down the high cost of gasoline.

In addition to the PIONEERS Act, I joined the House in passing several job-creating measures including a series of bills to expand our domestic energy production: 

  • Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229)
    • Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, the Obama Administration in May 2010 placed a moratorium on all shallow-water and deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. Despite officially lifting the moratorium in October 2010, the Obama Administration continues to slow-walk the permitting process.
    • The Putting the Gulf Back to Work Act will end the Obama Administration’s de facto moratorium in a safe, responsible, transparent manner – putting thousands of Americans back to work and increasing American energy production to help address rising gasoline prices.
  • Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230)
    • The Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act expands American energy production and creates jobs by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to conduct oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia that have been delayed or cancelled by the Obama Administration.
  • Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R. 1231)
    • Reverses the President’s ban on new offshore drilling by requiring the Administration to move forward on American energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources.

I will continue to fight for legislation that promotes the economic growth we need to put Ohioans back to work, and help secure America’s energy future.