POLITICO New York, United States — In an effort to win Republican support for a bill to extend drilling rights for offshore oil and gas leases in the Atlantic Ocean, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) on Tuesday laid out his plans for an energy bill.
Ryan announced his first effort at a House Republican conference committee, with members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and the House Natural Resources and Wildlife Committee all set to vote on a plan to extend oil and natural gas drilling rights in the Arctic Ocean and Atlantic Ocean waters.
The bill, called the Arctic Energy Act, would provide a three-year window for oil and mineral exploration, transport, and production on the Arctic.
In addition to extending oil and minerals exploration rights in Arctic waters, the bill would also give federal agencies more latitude in determining where to drill.
Ryan said the bill will also give the U.S. the right to conduct oil and mining operations in the region.
“We want to protect our resources and our jobs,” he said Tuesday, as he announced the effort to secure support from members of Congress.
“The Arctic Ocean is a vital source of energy for our country, and we should not be left behind when it comes to energy production and exploration.”
Ryan said drilling rights on the sea floor would be expanded by a total of 100 percent to 10,000 acres, a 10 percent increase from current levels.
The legislation would also provide that the federal government could authorize a $100 million incentive to oil and chemical companies to explore for oil in the waters.
Ryan’s proposal comes as oil prices remain low, and as U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is set to announce the U,N.
has agreed to a $10-billion oil spill response fund.
Ryan has previously said the Arctic is worth the risk.
“You can’t get a job in America without a job on the ocean floor,” he told The New York Times earlier this year.
“When you are drilling in the ice, it’s really cold, you can’t go to the bathroom and it’s raining, so why should we go on a hunt in the sea?”
The bill also proposes to extend lease rights for the drilling of oil and petroleum products off the Atlantic coast of the U., and also allows oil companies to take the rights to drill in the Beaufort Sea and the Chukchi Sea.
Ryan told reporters Tuesday that the bill’s provisions on oil drilling will help the U to remain competitive in the global oil and oil products market.
“That is the future of America, and the future for America is to remain the number one oil producer in the world,” Ryan said.
The Arctic Energy and Mining Act is not expected to pass.
Republicans in Congress have been working to shore up support for their plan, with Ryan and other GOP leaders meeting in the weeks since President Donald Trump took office in January to hammer out details of the bill.
“There are a lot of questions about this bill, but there are a number of important issues, including how much the government will have to pay for drilling rights, what is going to happen with the Arctic, and how much we’re going to be spending to protect the oceans,” Ryan told the New York time in January.
“I’m very optimistic about this issue.”
The bill would extend drilling to include oil and coal exploration off the U and in the Chutka Sea, a remote region of the Arctic that is an important shipping route.
The Senate passed a similar bill in February but the House has not acted on the bill, which would require 60 votes to overcome a filibuster.