By Ainsley Holyfield, Office of U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Nov. 8, the House Natural Resources Committee passed H.R. 4239, the SECURE American Energy Act, to provide regulatory certainty and reliability to expand access to oil, gas and wind development in America’s outer continental shelf lands. Included in this legislation was Rep. Mike Johnson’s (LA-04) SEA Act, H.R. 3133, which reduces excessive government regulations developed under the federal Marine Mammal Protection Act (MMPA) and streamlines the lengthy permit approval processes that have caused setbacks and delays for those working to preserve America’s rapidly deteriorating coastline, interrupted U.S. Naval operations and deterred offshore oil and gas exploration in the Gulf.
Johnson also successfully amended this legislation to reduce bureaucratic barriers in how the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) regulations are implemented. The amendment clarifies that the Department of Interior has the sole authority for all marine mammals when the incidental take is from activities associated with operation authorized under OCSLA.
Both of Johnson’s provisions will help spur economic investment in federal lands, expand domestic energy production, create jobs and increase revenues to federal and state governments.
“Louisiana has been leading the nation in energy exploration and production for decades, and Congress must recognize past commitments made in cost-sharing programs,” said Johnson, a member of First Baptist Church in Bossier City. “Without my language, the majority of the underlying bill would have provided the most immediate economic benefit to the Mid-Atlantic states and Alaska. Fortunately, by including these provisions, Louisiana will also see benefits from these reforms. Still, to ensure the bill continues to move toward adequately addressing our state’s needs, I will continue working with the chairman and representing Louisiana as the bill moves to the floor.”