Yesterday, the White House indicated President Barack Obama would veto a House Republican bill, H.R. 6082, that would require the Interior Department to allow oil and gas leasing at sites off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts that remain off limits for the next five years under the Obama Administrations current energy plan. Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul responded by releasing a statement this morning saying the veto is proof “President Obama doesn’t have a clue when it comes to America’s energy future.”
“As energy prices have risen and our economy continues to struggle, President Obama insists on hindering efforts to expand domestic production and create American jobs. His self-described ‘hodgepodge’ energy policy has been an abject failure,” Ms. Saul said. “Whether blocking job-creating initiatives like the Keystone pipeline or wasting taxpayer money on boondoggles like Solyndra, President Obama doesn’t have a clue when it comes to America’s energy future.”
The bill would also increase oil and gas leasing on Arctic waters near Alaska, which would not be open until at least 2016 under the Obama Administration’s current plan. In a statement, the White House said it “strongly opposes” the bill because it “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’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,” the White House statement said.
H.R. 6082 was approved by the House Natural Resources Committee, which is chaired by Washington State Republican Congressman Doc Hastings. Last week, Mr. Hastings claimed it is “an environmentally responsible drill-smart plan that will create jobs, grow our economy, and lower gasoline prices with more American energy.” The issue of a presidential may be a moot point, the bill is expected to pass the House, but it is unlikely to pass in the Senate.