WASHINGTON, Feb. 2 (UPI) — A jobs initiative would force the White House to have more lease sales for oil and gas deposits and set overall production goals, a committee said.
The House Natural Resources Committee said new legislation calls for lease sales in parts of the country estimated to hold at least 2.5 billion barrels of oil or 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The committee said the White House has no plans for new drilling, only “possible” future lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico.
U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, said the initiative wouldn’t only provide more jobs to the U.S. economy but would bring in revenue for roads and infrastructure projects.
“Unlocking our nation’s energy resources starts a wave of economic benefits and job creation that will positively touch nearly every aspect of our economy,” he said in a statement.
The measure includes language calling on Cabinet officials to set a production goal of 3 million barrels of oil per day and 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day by 2027.
The U.S. Energy Department said production of so-called tight oil and further development of oil deposits in the Gulf of Mexico are expected to bring domestic crude oil production in the United States to 6.7 million bpd by 2020, a level not seen since 1994.
U.S. President Barack Obama announced in January the opening of 38 million acres for oil exploration in some parts of the Gulf of Mexico. His critics said a more ambitious plan would include areas offshore Virginia, both the western and eastern coasts and the whole eastern Gulf of Mexico.