Statement Regarding California Lease Sales
Congressman Valadao Delivers a statement on the Floor of the U.S. House of Representatives regarding the Bureau of Land Management's recent decision to indefinitely cancel all oil and natural gas lease sales in California.Mr. Speaker,
This month, the United States Bureau of Land Management indefinitely cancelled all oil and natural gas lease sales in California. This includes 1,278 acres of prime oil and natural gas land in Kern and Fresno counties located in my District - California 21.
This land is part of the Monterey Shale Formation located in the Central Valley. The Monterey Shale contains 2/3 of our country’s shale oil reserves - the equivalent of 15.4 billion barrels. If tapped, it could generate half a million jobs and generate $4.5 billion in revenue. This would have a significant impact on my district which has faced chronic unemployment for years.
However, citing sequestration, BLM is suspending all future lease sales in California. The decision was made despite the fact that these leases provide significant revenue for the federal government.
This is just another example of the Administration using sequestration to further their environmental policy agenda at the expense of American families. BLM’s efforts to prevent energy development are depriving my constituents of quality jobs and increasing energy prices for hardworking families across the country.
It is unacceptable that BLM is halting lease auctions in regions that have been used for oil and gas development for over a century. These auctions generate revenue for the federal government, reduce our nation’s dependency on foreign oil, and lead to direct economic benefits as well as local job creation.
Thousands in the Central Valley remain unemployed as the job-creating opportunities within lease sales remain untapped. If we took advantage of these employment opportunities, small businesses would have more customers and local government could direct more revenue dollars to public safety and education. Those of us in the Central Valley are proud of our energy and agriculture heritage.
It is time for Washington bureaucrats to get out of the way and let our valley flourish.
I yield back.