Thursday, June 07, 2012

House Republicans Introduce Domestic Energy & Jobs Act

Jun 6: Members of the House Energy Action Team (HEAT) unveiled the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, a legislative package comprised of a series of bills which they say "aim to increase access to American energy resources and prevent misguided federal policies that will drive energy prices higher." Energy and Commerce Committee member Cory Gardner (R-CO) will sponsor the "legislative collection" that will help "spur job creation by removing roadblocks to American energy production." Included in the package are two proposals advanced by the Energy and Commerce Committee: the Strategic Energy Production Act and the Gasoline Regulations Act.

    According to a release, the Strategic Energy Production Act, authored by Rep. Gardner, "will hold the president accountable to long-term domestic energy supply solutions over short-term political gimmicks. The proposal requires that any future drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve be coupled with a plan to increase the percentage of Federal lands leased for oil and gas exploration, development, and production." Rep. Gardner said, "Our country is in desperate need of a national energy strategy, and increasing domestic production should be a major component of that plan. By increasing oil and gas leases on federal land to match what is released from our emergency energy reserves, we can turn a short-term supply fix into a long-term policy that promotes America's energy independence."

    The Gasoline Regulations Act, introduced by Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY), promotes a "look before you leap" approach to regulation. It requires an interagency committee to conduct a cumulative analysis on certain EPA regulations affecting transportation fuels to better understand their impact on gas prices, jobs, and the economy. The legislation also prevents the agency from finalizing three of its most costly rules -- Tier 3 standards, NSPS standards for petroleum refineries, and new ozone standards -- until after the study is completed and policymakers have time to assess the consequences. Rep. Whitfield said, "Over the past three years, prices at the gas pump have roughly doubled, and that is unacceptable. That is why I introduced commonsense legislation that will ensure that the federal government doesn't add to the pain at the pump by implementing regulations without first understanding the full costs they will have on consumers, jobs, and economic growth."

    Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) praised the introduction of the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act and commended his colleagues for their work on these common-sense solutions. He said, "President Obama likes to talk about what the government can't do when it comes to energy policy, but we prefer to focus on what we can do. I want to congratulate Rep. Gardner for leading the charge, and thank all the members who authored bills as a part of this effort."

    Bills Included in Domestic Energy and Jobs Act:

  • Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012, H.R. 4480 (Rep. Cory Gardner, CO)
  • Gasoline Regulations Act of 2012, H.R. 4471 (Rep. Ed Whitfield, KY)
  • Planning for American Energy Act of 2012, H.R.4381 (Rep. Scott Tipton, CO)
  • Providing Leasing Certainty for American Energy Act of 2012, H.R 4382 (Rep. Mike Coffman, CO)
  • Streamlining Permitting of American Energy Act of 2012, H.R. 4383 (Rep. Doug Lamborn, CO) 
  • National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act, H.R. 2150 (Rep. "Doc" Hastings, WA) 
  • BLM Live Internet Auctions Act, H.R. 2752 (Rep. Bill Johnson, OH)

    The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued a release saying it welcomed the legislation "that would create a real U.S. energy policy to increase production of the domestic oil and natural gas that America needs." Conrad Lass, API senior director of federal relations said, "Americans want to access more of our own energy resources, not only to enhance energy security, but also to put downward pressure on prices. The oil and natural gas industry can help revitalize the economy, create new jobs, and generate millions of dollars of new federal and state revenue, by safely accessing areas currently off limits. Excessive regulations can make it harder for refineries to compete and stay in business," said Lass. "Decisions made by policy makers should always be guided by a firm understanding of all the costs and impacts to the economy." API thanked sponsors of this legislation for continuing to showcase the importance of advancing comprehensive energy legislation.

    Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA), Ranking Member on the Natural Resources Committee and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee issued a release commenting on the Republican bills saying, "House Republicans are trotting out a series of bills that would give oil companies control over taxpayer-owned lands, put a short 'shot clock' on the safety review of drilling permits, and say that oil and gas production has priority over any and all other activity on public lands, like hunting or fishing." He said, "Instead of sending a thank you note to President Obama for increasing oil production and decreasing our foreign oil dependence through his 'all of the above' energy strategy, House Republicans are sending a love letter to the oil industry in the form of another oil-above-all scheme. These bills allow oil companies to say what lands they want to drill, even if Americans use them for hunting or fishing. And just in time for the NBA playoffs, it puts a 'shot clock' on the safety review of drilling permits, sending America back to the speed-over-safety days of the BP spill."

   Access a release from the Energy & Commerce Committee (click here). Access a release from HEAT with further information on each of the bills (click here). Access a release from Rep. Gardner (click here). Access a release from API (click here). Access a release from Rep. Markey (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.4480 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.4471 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.4381 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.4382 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.4383 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.2150 (click here). Access legislative details for H.R.2752 (click here). [#Energy]

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