This past Thursday, the Republican-led House pushed through a sweeping bill that seeks to cause a rapid increase in domestic energy production and the easing permitting restrictions.
A group of four Democrats joined up with the vast majority of the GOP side of the aisle in voting for Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA)’s legislation, the “Lower Energy Costs Act,” which finalized in a vote of 225-204. Six members elected to not vote in the end.
Republicans made the argument that the legislation would make the United States rely far less on foreign countries to secure its natural gas and oil. Scalise stated that his bill would “unleash American energy production” and slash the “insane permitting red tape so families can see lower prices” put in place by President Joe Biden.
🚨 Just went to the House Floor to call out Dems' hypocrisy on energy.
They get oil from hostile nations like Iran that produce it dirtier than us.
Yet block unleashing American energy production.
Thanks to them prices are higher for families.
It doesn't have to be like this. pic.twitter.com/7szAVwDB1V
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) March 30, 2023
The header of the very long bill makes the promise to “lower energy costs by increasing American energy production, exports, infrastructure, and critical minerals processing, by promoting transparency, accountability, permitting, and production of American resources, and by improving water quality certification and energy projects, and for other purposes.”
Now the bill is expected to flow into the Senate, which is held currently by a slim Democratic majority.
Earlier this month, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) labeled the bill as a “partisan, dead-on-arrival and unserious proposal” which doubles as just a “wish list for Big Oil.” However, Schumer did offer up his support for “good faith” bipartisan talks “to figure out what sort of permitting deal is possible.”
Fossil fuel groups and green energy groups have put on an odd united front in order to sound the call for much-needed changes to an entirely “broken permitting system” that they claim is blocking infrastructure development, as expressed by Fox News.
The American Clean Power Association (ACP), a vocal renewable-energy trade group, made the argument that provisions and reforms within Scalise’s bill would help boost the clean energy cause in the United States, improve energy security, and create jobs.
“Failure to enact critical permitting reforms and lift barriers that are hindering our ability to build much-needed transmission puts an estimated 150,000 clean energy jobs at risk,” stated Jason Grumet, the CEO of ACP.
If this legislation from Scalise makes it through the upper chamber, it could be looking down the barrel of a concise veto from President Joe Biden, who has issued executive orders to halt all new natural gas and oil leasing from public lands and offshore waters.