The District I represent is home to parts of the Eagle Ford Shale, which has increased its oil output by 68 percent just in the last year. Nearly 400,000 jobs have been created and roughly $2.6 billion in salaries and benefits have been paid to the workers in the 13 county area where the majority of the drilling takes place.And what’s happening at Eagle Ford is not isolated. Domestic oil and gas companies have the power to create widespread economic prosperity if we lift some of the regulations that prevent them from doing so. Regulations associated with drilling on federal lands (both onshore and off) are making it all but impossible to access these resources (and for the federal government to collect royalty payments). Delays associated with permitting liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities are putting at risk our ability to profitably produce natural gas. Though some critics argue against exporting natural gas, I believe we must strike while the iron is hot, profiting from our gas resources as we work towards breakthroughs in alternative energy sources that will make them economically attractive without massive taxpayer subsidies.