Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) announces that H.R. 5254, the Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act, overwhelmingly passed in the US House of Representatives yesterday. This bill is designed to streamline the process of building new refineries in the United States. This bill is one of several bills that Congressman Poe has supported in recent months to ease the burden of rising energy prices on the American people.

We cannot have it both ways. We cant continue to be held hostage by foreign nations when it comes to energy and expect to pay a low price at the pump. If we want to lower energy prices and remove unnecessary foreign influences from our country we need to drill more and we need to expand our refining capacity; something we have not done in over 30 years, Poe said.

Among other things, H.R. 5254, the Refinery Permit Process Schedule Act, does the following:
  • Establishes a federal coordinator to bring together all U.S. government agencies responsible for issuing permits, to help the permitting process move as expeditiously as possible;
  • Gives priority in scheduling coordination to the Environmental Protection Agency, to ensure that the stringent environmental standards governing refinery creation are met; and
  • Eliminates unnecessary red tape and bureaucracy in the permitting process.

Other Legislation Sponsored by Rep. Poe:
  • H.R. 3811 This bill will lift the moratorium on drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf. It specifically directs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a sale of oil and gas leases on all submerged lands of the Outer Continental Shelf in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico that are depicted in a specified document entitled "Eastern Gulf of Mexico Lease Sale."
  • H.R. 4908 Opens up a large portion of the Gulf of Mexico known as Area 181 to drilling by instructing the Secretary of the Interior to offer the 181 Area of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leasing no later than one year after enactment of this Act. (Currently drilling is only allowed off the coasts of Texas, Louisiana, and a portion of Alabama)
Other Legislation Co-Sponsored By Rep. Poe:
  • H.R. 4761 This bill will allow coastal States to receive significant portions of royalties from the sale of natural gas leases off their shores. Discretion with regard to spending is left up to the States, but this money could and should be used to support disaster relief efforts such as the recovery efforts from Hurricanes Rita and Katrina.