Texas congressmen introduce legislation to require offshore lease sales

March 1, 2021
Bill empowers US governors to nominate land for offshore oil and gas development.
Offshore staff

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) have introduced the More Energy More Jobs Act, legislation that will empower US governors to formally nominate land for offshore oil and gas development and require at least two area-wide lease sales annually in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico.

The More Energy More Jobs Act allows states to identify offshore areas for inclusion in the federal government’s five-year leasing plan. Specifically, the legislation:

  • Allows the governor of a coastal state to nominate for leasing any OCS areas adjacent to state waters.
  • Directs the Department of the Interior (DOI) to conduct the economic and environmental studies that are the important first steps for inclusion in the lease plan.
  • Allows DOI to retain limited discretion to eliminate nominated areas if it is determined the development is not consistent with principles set forth in the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA).
  • Requires two area-wide lease sales annually in the Western and Central Gulf of Mexico.

All current environmental and safety laws are maintained, and the bill ensures that the environmental reviews required by law are accomplished within a set time frame.

Congressman Kevin Brady released a statement upon introduction of the More Energy More Jobs Act:

“As we continue to recover from this pandemic, our nation needs more good-paying jobs and affordable energy prices for the American people. Few nations develop energy as responsibly and with as strict environmental standards as America does, and energy independence is something we should celebrate. This can't be controlled only by Washington, DC. We must work with our states to continue unlocking our offshore energy resources responsibly.”

“Our country’s offshore oil and natural gas industry is essential for job creation, the economy, and national security,” said Congressman Henry Cuellar. “This legislation will help ensure that we have access to critical energy resources while also maintaining critical environmental safeguards. As we continue to recover from the pandemic, it is critical that we invest in policy that supports American jobs. I am committed to working in a bipartisan fashion to create collaborative, common-sense policy that addresses clean energy, protects American jobs and moves our country forward.”