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House Republicans propose bills to strengthen domestic energy production

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As the Biden administration continues its efforts to move on from the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, House Republicans advanced several measures this week to expand and strengthen domestic production, also denouncing the president’s “anti-American energy policies.”

House committees advancing four bills: HR 1121, “Protecting American Energy Protection Act”; HR 1023, “Cutting Green Corruption and Taxes Act”; HR 6009, “Restoring American Energy Dominance Act”; and HR 7023, “Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act.” They are also considering Resolution 987, “Denouncing Biden’s Anti-American Energy Policies,” and Concurrent Resolution 86 opposing a carbon tax.

Among the many provisions in the bills designed to unleash U.S. production, HR 1121 would prohibit a presidential moratorium on hydraulic fracturing, prevent the current and future administrations from imposing a nationwide fracking ban, and ensure states retain regulating authority. Fracking was perfected by Texas businessman George Mitchell, who revolutionized the oil and natural gas industry worldwide and is known as “the father of the energy revolution.”

HR 1023 would repeal sections of the Clean Air Act. HR 6009 would nullify a Bureau of Land Management proposed rule to increase bonding rates for production on federal lands. And HR 7023 would provide regulatory certainty for businesses operating under Clean Water Act permits in the Gulf of Mexico.

The House is advancing the measures as 24 Senate Republicans blasted the administration’s proposed $110 billion tax on the oil, natural gas and coal industry and as House and Senate leaders also pushed back against International Energy Agency policies.

On Thursday, Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-WA, and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso, R-WY, sent a letter to Dr. Fatih Birol, director of the International Energy Agency, urging him to return the agency to its core mission: promoting energy security.

They argue the IEA “has been undermining energy security by discouraging sufficient investment in energy supplies.” Its energy modeling also “no longer provides policymakers with balanced assessments of energy and climate proposals. Instead, it has become an ‘energy transition’ cheerleader.”

“Since taking office, President Biden’s administration has implemented 200 actions threatening production of oil and natural gas,” Kathleen Sgamma, president of Western Energy Alliance, said in a statement lauding House Republicans for “working to pass a slate of bills that address the administration’s regulatory overreach.” Western Energy Alliance members are small- to mid-sized companies operating in western states that produce clean and environmentally responsible oil and natural gas “who are ready to meet the growing demand for energy in the U.S.,” she said. But they “can’t do it when the federal government constantly threatens them with overreaching regulations.”

“This package of bills is an important step in pushing back against the anti-energy and anti-consumer Biden Administration and its war on U.S. domestic energy,” Karr Ingham, economist and president of Texas Alliance of Energy Producers, said. “It is critical for our industry, our nation, and the world to promote and expand abundant, affordable, and reliable petroleum energy production and support efforts to maintain our economy.”

The U.S. leads the world in petroleum and natural gas production, led by Texas, the oil and natural gas capital of the United States. Texas not only leads in production but also in emissions reductions. Last year, the Texas oil and natural gas industry broke records with the highest ever totals in production, exports, refining outcomes, and crude oil supply. This is after in 2022, the Texas natural gas industry “provided a lifeline” to Europe after the energy market was destabilized by “green energy” policies and the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, The Center Square reported.

Understanding the significance of the industry, Texas Democratic members of Congress have also opposed the administration’s recent liquified natural gas (LNG) export ban. Texas leads the U.S. in LNG exports.

A recent Texas Oil & Gas Association report shows how LNG exports don’t lead to increased domestic energy costs, contrary to the president’s claims. Multiple reports also show that as production increased by 345% in the Permian Basin – one of the largest oil and natural gas fields in the world located in west Texas and southeast New Mexico – methane emissions fell by 76% over the same time period, The Center Square reported.

Jeff Eshelman, president and CEO of Independent Petroleum Association of America, reiterated that U.S. oil and natural gas producers “are leading the way in emissions reductions as they innovate to provide more energy to Americans and the world.”