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Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 6082 - Congressional Replacement of the President's Offshore Drilling Plan

July 23, 2012


(House Rules)

(Rep. Hastings, R-WA, and 2 cosponsors)

The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 6082, which would undermine the targeted, science-based, and regionally-tailored offshore development strategy that the American people and the States have helped develop over the last three years.

The Administration is committed to promoting safe and responsible domestic oil and gas development as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy to increase domestic production and reduce dependence on foreign oil. The Administration's recently announced five-year strategy for offshore oil and gas leasing makes areas containing more than 75 percent of estimated, technically recoverable oil and gas resources in our oceans available for exploration and development -- including all of the highest resource areas on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). This plan was developed following extensive input from the public, industry, States, Tribes, and others, and incorporates lessons learned from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

H.R. 6082 would require the Department of the Interior to open a number of new areas on the OCS. This action would be directed without Secretarial discretion to determine whether those areas are appropriate for leasing through balanced consideration of factors such as resource potential, State and local views and concerns, and the maturity of infrastructure needed to support oil and gas development, including in the event of an oil spill. The bill would mandate OCS lease sales along the east and west coast and elsewhere without regard for significant issues such as State and local concerns and impacts on important fishing areas and with inadequate consideration of military use conflicts.

The bill also would establish unworkable deadlines and substantive and procedural limitations on important environmental review and other analysis that is critical to complying with laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the National Historic Preservation Act, and the Clean Water Act. Full compliance with these laws is important for the protection of citizens, communities, and the environment and is necessary in order to avoid costly and time-consuming litigation.

If the President were presented with H.R. 6082, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.

Barack Obama, Statement of Administration Policy: H.R. 6082 - Congressional Replacement of the President's Offshore Drilling Plan Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project