WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent (PA-15) voted this week for two bills (H.R. 1229 and H.R. 1231) to increase domestic energy development and create thousands of quality jobs for American workers.

“These bills will increase the long-term production of the fuels that power our economy while creating thousands of jobs for hard-working Americans,” said Rep. Dent. “In 2008, Congress lifted a longstanding ban on offshore leasing with my support. Since the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Obama Administration has unilaterally imposed a de facto moratorium on drilling activities, stunting the domestic development of energy and costing thousands of American jobs. This week, the House voted not only to expand opportunities for offshore production, but to prevent the Administration from continuing to drag its feet on approving drilling permits.”

The Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229) expedites the process for approving or denying exploratory drilling permits in the Gulf by providing the Department of Interior 30 days to review applications it receives. Under the bill, the Department would have the opportunity to extend its review by an additional 30 days. H.R. 1229 also extends leases that were not yet producing prior to the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill and those that were suspended by the Obama Administration’s subsequent moratorium for a single year.

The Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R. 1231) expands domestic energy development by requiring the Department to allow leasing in 50% of each Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) planning area that is estimated to have the largest deposits of untapped reserves and greatest opportunity for resource recovery. Specifically, the bill focuses on areas that are likely to contain more than 2.5 billion barrels of oil or 7.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. By the federal government’s own estimates, this expansion could triple American offshore production over the next 15 years and reduce foreign oil imports by roughly 1/3.