Dent Votes To Restart Offshore Leases For Oil Drilling

WASHINGTON DC – Lower Pottsgrove congressman Rep. Charlie Dent voted Thursday (May 5, 2011) in support of the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230), a bill to advance delayed oil and natural gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico and off the coast of Virginia. It passed the House by a vote of 266 to 149.

The legislation will increase long-term production of domestic energy resources,” Dent said. “It is important we make certain drilling off our shores is done in a clean and safe manner, but we can no longer … excessively delay development of American energy. (The bill) establishes a reasonable deadline for the Department of Interior to ensure leases that were originally approved in 2007 are progressing in a timely and responsible fashion.”

In 2007, the U.S. Department of Interior approved three lease sales in the Outer Continental Shelf that would take place in 2011, and another that would occur in 2012. Following the BP Oil Deepwater Horizon spill, a moratorium was imposed on all deepwater drilling activities and later delayed the completion of the 2011 lease sale off the coast of Virginia. A limited number of drilling permits has recently been approved, but according to Dent the process for developing leases remains “extraordinarily slow.”