Growing the economy through a national energy plan

-A A +A
By Congressman Bob Goodlatte

While House Republicans continue working to create jobs by passing legislation that addresses the serious economic crisis facing our nation, Senate Democrats continue to stand in the way of nearly twenty pieces of legislation that are designed to get Americans back to work.


Several of these House-passed bills focus on maximizing American energy production. Our inability to set a national energy policy is affecting all Americans and continues to be a significant drag on our economy. But despite this fact the Obama Administration recently announced that they would delay making a decision on the proposed Keystone Pipeline by another year, waiting until after next year’s Presidential election.

The proposed 1,700 mile pipeline would bring oil from the Canadian tar sands to refineries in the United States, helping to reduce our dependence on oil from the Middle East and Venezuela. Not only would this project provide us with significant access to new energy supplies but it is expected to create as many as 20,000 American jobs. This project has been fully vetted and found to be environmentally sound and has the potential to be a significant boost to our economy.

In addition to blocking the job creating Keystone Pipeline project, the Obama Administration recently announced in their Five Year Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Oil and Gas Leasing Project a ban on energy development off the coast of Virginia. I have long maintained that Virginia should have every tool available to access its energy supplies.


For many years, the Commonwealth has been seriously considering the potential positive impact that OCS development off Virginia’s coast would have on our state. In fact, there has been wide support for energy production by the Governor of Virginia, the Virginia General Assembly and by many local governments in the Commonwealth. For that reason I joined with seven other Members of the Virginia Delegation in sending a letter to Interior Secretary Ken Salazar urging him to reconsider this ban on energy development off of Virginia’s coast.


It has been estimated by the U.S. Department of Interior that Virginia’s OCS has 130 million barrels of recoverable oil and 1.14 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas. These are old estimates and many believe that new exploration will discover much larger quantities. I will continue working to ensure that Virginia has every tool available to access its energy supplies, while at the same time creating thousands of jobs for Virginians and infusing the Commonwealth with new capital growth.


I will continue to closely follow our nation’s energy policy and work to promote proposals that will seek to lessen our reliance on Middle Eastern and Venezuelan oil, and allow us to become energy independent. We need to support policies that will encourage promotion of exploration, innovation, and conservation, lower energy prices for consumers, and ultimately make America stronger.