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Energy Security And Unemployment

(Mr. RIGELL asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

Rep. Scott Rigell

legislator photo

Mr. Speaker, we have within our grasp the opportunity to boldly address two of America's greatest challenges: energy security and unemployment. These two issues are inextricably linked. We can no longer tolerate a stagnant, slow-growth economy that's saddled with historic unemployment rates and a dangerous dependence on foreign oil. A key solution to these problems is energy, specifically, American energy.

The President said in this House that we must have an all-of-the-above strategy to energy independence. I agree. That includes harvesting the energy in every corner of America, including the 3.8 billion barrels of oil and gas off the coast of Virginia.

Last week, I introduced the Mid-Atlantic Energy and Jobs Act of 2012 to free up Virginia's abundant offshore energy. This legislation will help us achieve energy independence and could produce more than 18,000 local jobs, and it requires a significant amount of the royalties produced by the exploration to go toward improving our environment. The time to act is now. This Congress, this President, we're Americans. Let's do this.