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Washington, D.C. – The U.S. Senate today voted in support of opening an area for energy development that would help reduce America’s dependence on foreign sources of energy and decrease gas prices by increasing U.S. energy supplies.

The Senate passed the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act, S. 3711, by a vote of 71-25. Enzi voted in favor of the bill that would allow for the opening of leases of approximately 8.3 million acres of Lease Area 181 in the Outer Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas leasing.

"Put in perspective, this area will provide enough natural gas to heat 6 million homes for 15 years. Opening Lease Area 181 must be part of a broad and comprehensive strategy to expand our traditional energy portfolio as we develop better technologies such as clean coal and hydrogen. Every great endeavor starts with a first step and opening this area is a good first step," said Enzi.

It is estimated that the area will be able to yield 1.26 billion barrels of oil and 5.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.