U.S. House Passes Maritime Transboundary Agreement
Duncan's Bill Opens 1.5 Million Acres in the Gulf for Energy Production
On Thursday, Congressman Jeff Duncan of South Carolina praised the House passage of his bill H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act. Duncan’s legislation passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 256-171, and is one of several energy related bills he’s authored since being elected to Congress.
The bill will allow the United States and Mexico to explore and produce the resources which are shared or co-owned underneath the maritime border, putting in place safety and regulatory standards which currently apply to offshore energy production in U.S. Gulf of Mexico waters.
“By passing this Transboundary Agreement, the House has furthered its commitment to create jobs through energy. This legislation implements a first of its kind agreement with the government of Mexico to develop shared resources located between our two countries in the Gulf,” said Duncan. “The legislation also opens roughly 1.5 million acres in the Gulf of Mexico for production and would help create American jobs and grow our economy in the process. According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the U.S. State Department, these areas are estimated to contain 172 million barrels of oil and 304 billion cubic feet of natural gas, a considerable amount that will lessen our dependence on Middle Eastern sources of oil. The agreement also prioritizes safety by requiring that all operations in the region conform to U.S. safety standards and establishes a framework for possible future arrangements with other neighboring countries like Canada. Simply put, this legislation is a win-win for our country, and I am proud that it received strong bipartisan support.”
“As a country, we have long held the goal of achieving American energy independence. We need to do everything we can to reach that goal through an all-of-the-above energy strategy, but if we’re unable to attain that goal immediately, we ought to take the first step and achieve North American energy independence. We have a great opportunity to do that with the Keystone XL Pipeline with Canada and with this Transboundary agreement with Mexico. By fostering energy production here at home and in conjunction with our allies, not only are we able to make our country more prosperous economically but also more energy secure. It is my hope that the Senate will take up this bill immediately without delay, and without changes.”