Flores: Obama administration’s new ban on Arctic, Atlantic energy exploration would hurt economy

The Obama administration’s move to ban offshore drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans will slow energy development, economic growth and job creation, U.S. Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) said.

The administration announced on Tuesday it would designate the bulk of the Arctic water and certain areas in the Atlantic Ocean as indefinitely off limits to future oil and gas leasing.

“President Obama’s continuing efforts to appease radical special interest groups in the waning days of his administration is beyond the pale,” Flores said. “His recent actions to restrict access to energy exploration in the Arctic and Atlantic will impede energy development, economic growth and job growth, while putting our national security at risk.”

The administration’s ban on offshore oil and gas exploration evokes a provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act of 1953 that states the president may withdraw federal waters that are not already leased from energy exploration.

Flores, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, pledged to work to reverse the “midnight regulation.” The House has passed legislation that would allow Congress to overturn in a single vote any regulations finalized in the final days of the Obama administration.

“I will work with my fellow colleagues and President-elect Trump to overturn President Obama’s ‘energy-denier’ agenda. I remain committed to advancing a 21st century energy strategy to lower energy costs, improve economic opportunity, reduce geopolitical instability around the world and achieve American energy security,” Flores said.