Yesterday, the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Power passed two more American Energy Initiative bills that will help address high gas prices and protect American jobs. The subcommittee’s action came on the same day that President Obama trotted out another political gimmick to deflect blame for his failed energy policies that have caused gas prices to double on his watch. While President Obama is offering nothing but more empty rhetoric, here’s a look at what Republicans are putting forward to help American families and small businesses struggling with unacceptably high energy costs:
- Gasoline Regulations Act - As a recently released survey from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce shows, energy costs and excessive regulations are holding back small business growth and job creation – and President Obama’s policies are making matters worse. As Energy & Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) noted in his opening statement, the Obama administration “has a number of stringent regulations in the works” that will drive up energy prices, and “we ought to have a better understanding of the cumulative costs to the consumer.” The Gasoline Regulations Act puts a stop to three of these burdensome new regulations and, for the first time, requires cumulative analyses of the effect of other current and proposed government regulations that threaten to drive up gas prices.
- Strategic Energy Production Act – Last year, President Obama tapped the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in a transparently political ploy that not only failed to have a long-term impact on prices, but also drew down the resources set aside to ensure America’s security “in the event of a real national security crisis,” Speaker Boehner said at that time. Democrats are pressing President Obama to tap the reserve again, and he has not ruled out the possibility. In the event that the president does tap the SPR, the Strategic Energy Production Act will protect America’s security by pairing that withdrawal with a plan to boost American energy production on federal land. As House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) said in his opening statement, “despite administration assertions to the contrary, the president continues to keep nearly all of this oil out of reach, and has slowed the pace of new energy leasing on the federal estate…The Strategic Energy Production Act helps eliminate this roadblock for Colorado as well as other inland and coastal states that want to be a part of the solution by producing more domestic oil.”