This week, lawmakers in Congress are stepping up to address high gasoline and home energy prices after two years of the Biden administration’s unnecessary interference with energy markets.
Consumers have been burdened by policies such as increasing taxes and red tape on American energy production that have compounded high energy prices.
We’re pleased to see the U.S. House of Representatives is working to pass a broad energy package this week that will allow oil and natural gas producers to once again meet the growing needs of consumers and reduce energy inflation.
In contrast to President Biden’s policies that have restricted American oil and natural gas production in Colorado and other western states, the Lower Energy Costs Act (H.R. 1) will restore certainty on federal lands. The bill would remove several significant cost increases and barriers that were implemented last year in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that fulfilled the president’s promise of “no federal oil.” The bill would restore regularity in leasing and permitting to ensure that federal production, which normally constitutes about a quarter of our country’s total, resumes at appropriate levels.
The House is working to remove barriers to construction of pipelines, roads, bridges, and other infrastructure that is necessary for our modern society. For too long, analysis required under the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) has strayed far from the original intent of ensuring projects protect the environment to becoming a tool for simply saying “no” to projects or dragging them out for years. This bill would restore sanity to the environmental analysis process so that the country can achieve both better infrastructure and better environmental protection. The bill would help advance all energy projects including renewables, which also suffer delays from paralysis by analysis.
Providing sustainable climate solutions is achieved in the House energy package. Lawmakers recognize natural gas is the number one reason the United States has reduced more greenhouse gas emissions than any other country. Increased natural gas electricity generation has reduced more greenhouse gases than wind and solar energy combined because of its low-carbon profile and 24/7 reliability.
Despite that real solution for addressing climate change concerns, last year the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) increased taxes on natural gas as a means to reduce its production, distribution, and use. It’s a cost that will be felt by every American consumer, because as we’re discovering in the push to electrify everything, natural gas provides nearly 40% of all U.S. electricity. In comparison, wind and solar provide about 11%. Natural gas enables renewables as the back-up when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. By removing new taxes on natural gas and enabling its export to our allies, we can continue to reduce the carbon profile of the U.S. electricity sector while enabling other countries to likewise reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
The growth of red tape over the past few years was not intended to protect the environment but to handcuff American oil and natural gas production in a misguided attempt to quickly transition to an alternative reality that does not exist. The result is higher prices for all Americans. The Lower Energy Costs Act is a welcome answer to government-imposed distortions to energy markets that have decimated the energy independence that America enjoyed just a few short years ago.