Doc Hastings

With 9.5 percent of Americans out of work and rumors of yet another costly stimulus, President Obama and White House officials regularly say that “nothing is off the table” when it comes to getting our economy back on track.

But after six months in office, President Obama should revise his statement to reflect his Administration’s unspoken policy that “nothing is off the table – except for the creation of many types of energy jobs.”

Although the President regularly expresses verbal support for a comprehensive energy plan, his Administration has demonstrated that no matter how many Americans are out of work, it will continue to take steps to proactively discourage certain types of economic development – including the creation of natural gas jobs, oil drilling jobs and nuclear jobs.

Today – July 14, 2009 – epitomizes the Administration’s prejudice against job creation and expanded employment for Americans in the oil and natural gas industry. Exactly a year ago, President Bush issued an executive order lifting the ban on offshore oil and natural gas drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and opened the door for new energy production and the creation of millions of new energy jobs in our country. But today, a defacto ban remains in place only because the Obama Administration has actively blocked the new 5-year leasing program which would open areas for offshore exploration and development.

The Administration’s decision has prevented Americans from enjoying 1.2 million new, well-paying jobs annually across the country and $70 billion in additional wages each year (source: American Energy Alliance). And it also prevents the federal government from receiving over $2.2 trillion in total tax receipts – revenue that would go a long way towards addressing the historic $1.8 trillion deficit that reportedly keeps the President awake at night.

Doc Hastings

Congressman Doc Hastings has represented Washington's 4th Congressional district since winning election in 1994.