The House of Representatives today debates H.R. 1230, Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act, one of three bills House Republicans have proposed in their American Energy Initiative to increase the reliable production of domestic oil and natural gas. ( House floor schedule)

The National Association of Manufacturers on Wednesday sent the House a “Key Vote” letter urging support for the bill, as well as H.R. 1229, the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act. Excerpt:

Manufacturers support energy policies that: 1) expand domestic supplies in an environmentally safe manner; and 2) lower costs for manufacturers, which use nearly one-third of our nations energy. Access to competitively priced energy helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and preserves high-paying jobs here at home.

Every day of unnecessary delay in permitting costs jobs and hurts Americas manufacturers and their employees. Thousands of jobs were lost during the 2010 offshore moratorium. Companies that make and supply equipment, services, engines, boats and materials such as steel and concrete suffered under the moratorium and continue to suffer.

H.R. 1229 would prevent further delays by requiring the federal government to respond quickly and responsibly within 30 days of receiving a permit application while putting in place key provisions aimed at further ensuring worker safety and environmental protection. H.R. 1230 would require the federal government to move forward with its five-year plan (2007-2012) and to conduct four oil and natural gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and offshore Virginia by June 1, 2012.

While investments in new energy sources and efforts to boost efficiency gains play critical roles in meeting our nations future energy demands, increasing access to domestic sources of reliable energy, both onshore and offshore, is essential to the long-term health of American manufacturing.

Key votes are selected by a committee of NAM member companies, large and small, and are used to rank a member of Congress’ support for pro-manufacturing policies.