The House passed H.R. 1229 Wednesday by a vote of 263-163. The bill, titled the “Putting the Gulf Back to Work” Act, is an attempt to re-open the Gulf Coast for oil exploration, putting an end to the moratorium following the oil spill in the Gulf last year.
U.S. Rep. Rob Woodall (R-Georgia) was one of the 235 Republicans who were joined by 28 Democrats to pass the bill. He issued the following statement after the successful passage of the bill through the House.
“H.R. 1229 will do more than just end the Obama Administration’s de facto drilling moratorium. This bill will re-open the Gulf Coast for oil exploration in a responsible and transparent manner,” Woodall said. “Last year’s moratorium cost the Gulf Coast region approximately 12,000 jobs. Re-opening the Gulf will start the process of bringing jobs back to that region of the United States and, in turn, spur economic growth throughout the nation.”
Woodall said he looks forward to working with colleagues in pursuing all energy solutions that will increase domestic energy production, end America’s dependence on foreign oil and “relieve families of the heavy fuel prices at the pump.”
The successful passage of this bill comes on the heels of H.R. 1230, the “Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act,” which passed May 5 by a 266-149 margin. There is a third bill expected to come to a vote in the House this week, H.R. 1231, which would lift the Gulf moratorium. It would also begin a lease plan to get local production rolling. However, there is doubt that Senate Majority Leader, Sen. Harry Reid, will let any come to a vote on the floor of the Senate that opens up drilling in the Gulf. Instead, there is a hearing Thursday on legislation Senate Democrats are considering that would eliminate subsidies for big oil.
With the gas price still knocking $4 a gallon, there is a push from all sectors to find a way to bring the price down.
“It is ridiculous that our nation remains so dependent on foreign oil when we have such valuable untapped resources right in our backyard,” Woodall said after voting for H.R. 1230 last week.
Woodall represents Georgia’s Seventh District in the House, which includes Barrow and Walton counties, most of Gwinnett County and parts of Newton and Forsyth counties.