Senator Tim Scott Introduces Southern Energy Access Jobs Act as Part of Opportunity Agenda

Bill Will Create Jobs, Strengthen America’s Energy Independence, Encourage STEM Education and Help Lower Energy Prices for Low-Income Families

Washington-Continuing his commitment to refocusing Washington on expanding economic opportunity and unleashing the potential of all Americans, U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC) today announced the third piece of his Opportunity Agenda with the introduction of the Southern Energy Access Jobs Act (SEA Jobs Act). The bill will reverse the Obama Administration’s moratorium on offshore Atlantic energy production and increase responsible offshore energy production in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia and creates one single “South Atlantic” offshore energy planning area. When enacted, the SEA Jobs Act will create jobs, strengthen America’s national security by lessening dependence on dangerous countries for energy, spur new educational training programs and lower energy prices.

“Safe, responsible energy production has the ability to transform our economy, creating thousands of new jobs in communities across the nation. The SEA Jobs Act will allow our nation’s energy sector to innovate and growwhile meeting several important needs, including creating more opportunities for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education, increasing job opportunities for our nation’s veterans, and helping ease the burden of energy for families,” said Senator Scott, who serves on both the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

Senator Scott continued, “By unleashing the potential of America’s vast energy resources in the Atlantic, we can continue the long overdue process of reducing our national dependency on fuel produced in some of our world’s most dangerous areas. Additionally, by enacting the SEA Jobs Act, we can potentially create more than 280,000 jobs and add $24 billion to the economy. In South Carolina alone, this legislation could create more than 35,000 new jobs.”

Key pieces of the SEA Jobs Act include:

Creates Responsible Offshore Energy Production

  • Reverses the Obama administration’s moratorium on offshore Atlantic energy production and creates one single “South Atlantic” offshore energy planning area, comprised of South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia.
  • Strengthens America’s national security interests by reducing dependence on dangerous countries for energy while increasing America’s energy independence.
  • Increases American energy production to help reduce high energy prices that disproportionately impact lower-income Americans. Currently, energy prices consume a quarter of after-tax income for families making $30,000 or less.
  • Provides flexibility to States in the South Atlantic Planning area by providing the states more control over offshore areas closest to their shoreline to help protect coastal sightlines by allowing the prohibition of permanently visible drilling infrastructure up to 20 miles from the shoreline.

Provides Access to Job Training for Veterans STEM Research Funding

  • Creates a public-private partnership between industry, institutes of higher education and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to enhance and broaden the study of geological and geophysical sciences, encourage new STEM studies of offshore energy resources and educate the next generation of America’s offshore energy scientists.
  • Establishes a veteran’s workforce training program, using revenues from Atlantic offshore energy production, to fund employment training that supports U.S. oil and natural gas production.

Supports Deficit Reduction and Supports Revenue Creation

  • Establishes revenue sharing, which allows states within the South Atlantic planning area to receive 37.5% of all revenues from offshore energy production.
  • Dedicates 10% of new federal revenue to deficit reduction.

The SEA Jobs Act would create more than 35,000 new good paying South Carolina jobs and leverage $15.5 billion in private sector investment. South Carolina would also see $2.7 billion per year added to the state’s economy and another $3.7 billion for state government through revenue sharing. In January, Senator Scott unveiled the first two pieces of theOpportunity Agenda, the CHOICE Act and SKILLS Act. The CHOICE Act would expand educational opportunities for children with disabilities, children living on military bases, and children living in impoverished areas. The SKILLS Act aims to help low-income workers, individuals with disabilities looking for work, and at-risk youth by providing sorely-needed reforms for the government’s bureaucratic maze of workforce development and training programs. A downloadable pdf copy of Senator Scott’s SEA Jobs Act is availablehere.