As part of the Plan for America’s Job Creators and the American Energy Initiative, the Republican-led House has passed many bills to address high energy costs by boosting production, cutting red tape and streamlining the permitting process so we can create American-made energy more quickly. Three years of President Obama’s failed energy policies have left small businesses struggling to stay afloat, and American families struggling to make ends meet. These bills will help address high gas prices – which have doubled on President Obama’s watch – making it easier for the private sector to grow and create jobs. Here’s a look at what Republicans have done to harness America’s resources, develop new sources of energy, and put Americans back to work:
- FIGHTING FOR APPROVAL OF THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE AND 20,000 AMERICAN JOBS THAT COME WITH IT: The North American-Made Energy Security Act (H.R. 1938), passed by the House in July 2011, would have required a decision by President Obama on the popular Keystone XL pipeline, which he eventually rejected and personally lobbied against. Following the president’s decision, the House passed legislation (H.R. 3630) to force the Obama administration to take action on the Keystone pipeline. The president again rejected the Keystone pipeline and the 20,000 “new, real U.S. jobs” that come with it – sending those jobs overseas to China instead. As Speaker Boehner has made clear, Republicans are listening to Americans and “will continue to fight for this common-sense proposal.”
- PASSING A FIVE-YEAR PLAN FOR MORE JOBS & AMERICAN ENERGY: The Obama administration’s five-year leasing plan blocks off 85 percent of America’s offshore areas, opens no new areas to energy production and provides for the fewest number of new lease sales in history. The House recently voted to replace the president’s plan (H.R. 6082) with “an environmentally responsible, robust plan that supports new offshore” production to help address energy costs and create jobs, Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA) explained in an op-ed in The Hill.
- ROLLING BACK THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION’S DE FACTO MORATORIUM ON OFFSHORE ENERGY: The House passed three American Energy Initiative bills, the Putting the Gulf of Mexico Back to Work Act (H.R. 1229), the Restarting American Offshore Leasing Now Act (H.R. 1230), and the Reversing President Obama’s Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R. 1231) to end President Obama’s de facto moratorium on offshore energy production. Louisiana State University professor Dr. Joseph Mason estimates that these bills could create 250,000 jobs in the short-term and 1.2 million jobs in the long-term. The House also passed the PIONEERS Act (H.R. 3408), which contains provisions requiring the president “to move forward with new offshore energy production in areas containing the most oil and natural gas resources,” the House Natural Resources Committee reports.
- PREVENTING A NATIONAL ENERGY TAX THAT THREATENS JOBS: The House kept its Pledge to America to pass legislation, the Energy Tax Prevention Act (H.R. 910), preventing the Obama administration from imposing a backdoor national energy tax. The administration’s plan for a cap-and-trade regulatory scheme on American energy would put an estimated 1.4 million jobs at risk, drastically increase energy costs, and “send the economy into a permanent recession.”
- UNLOCKING AMERICA’S ENERGY RESOURCES IN ALASKA: The National Petroleum Reserve Alaska Access Act (H.R. 2150), passed as part of the Domestic Energy & Jobs Act (H.R. 4480), will create jobs and help lower energy costs by ensuring that resources in the National Petroleum Reserve-Alaska (NPRA) “are developed and transported in a timely, efficient manner,” says Chairman Hastings. The PIONEERS Act (H.R. 3408) would open up a small portion of ANWR’s 19 million acres in the North Slope, an area that was specifically set aside by Congress and President Jimmy Carter for oil and natural gas development. And the Jobs and Energy Permitting Act (H.R. 2021) would help end permitting delays by the Obama administration and unlock access to an estimated 27 billion barrels of oil and 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in Alaska.
- HALTING EXCESSIVE GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS THAT WILL COST JOBS & DRIVE UP ENERGY COSTS: The Obama administration’s war on coal is raising costs, shutting down plants, and destroying jobs nationwide. The Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation (TRAIN) Act (H.R. 2401) would put a stop to some of the most potentially damaging new Obama administration rules on coal-fired energy producers, and require a study of the cumulative impacts of several other regulations on jobs, energy prices, and electric reliability. The House also passed the Gasoline Regulations Act (H.R. 4471) that would halt three burdensome new Obama administration energy regulations and, for the first time, require cumulative analyses of the effect of other current and proposed government regulations that would potentially drive up gas prices.
- CUTTING RED TAPE TO BOOST ONSHORE AMERICAN ENERGY PRODUCTION: As part of its all-of-the-above energy policy, the House has passed several bills to increase onshore American energy production. The PIONEERS Act (H.R. 3408) would set clear rules for the development of U.S. oil shale resources and promote shale technology research and development. The Hydropower Development and Rural Jobs Act (H.R. 2842) “would help expand production of clean, renewable hydropower by cutting red tape and getting government out of the way,” Speaker Boehner explains. Lastly, the Providing Leasing Certainty for American Energy Act (H.R. 4382), the Streamlining Permitting of American Energy Act (H.R. 4383) and the BLM Live Internet Auctions Act (H.R. 2752) will help end needless delays in the onshore leasing and permitting process.
- REQUIRING THE ADMINISTRATION TO CREATE AN ALL-OF-THE ABOVE PLAN TO MEET AMERICA’S ENERGY NEEDS: The Planning for American Energy Act (H.R. 4381) directs the Secretary of the Interior to develop an all-of the-above energy plan to meet America’s energy needs by establishing targets for all types of energy production on federal lands, including oil, natural gas, coal and renewables.
- PROTECTING AMERICA’S ENERGY SECURITY: After years of blocking American energy, President Obama tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year in a transparently political – and ultimately ineffective - ploy to lower gas prices. The Strategic Energy Production Act (H.R. 4480) ensures that the Obama administration cannot once again tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve without taking steps to increase American energy production.
President Obama claims to support Republicans’ all-of-the-above energy policy, but has yet to urge Senate Democrats to act on these bills that are sitting on their doorstep. With gas prices once again on the rise, Senate Democrats ought to stop stalling these bills so they can be sent to the president for his signature. Learn more about the Republican jobs plan at jobs.gop.gov, and follow the progress of these bills by “liking” the American Energy Initiative on Facebook.