US House Passes GOP Energy Agenda

    US House Passes GOP Energy Agenda
    Last updated Mar 31, 2023
    Image credit: Reuters [via The Wall Street Journal]


    • On Thursday, the Republican-majority US House voted 225-204 to pass a wide range of energy proposals that would boost oil and gas production, increase the mining of critical minerals, and change the National Environmental Policy Act's project approval process.[1]
    • Republicans hope the legislation, known as the Lower Energy Costs Act, will reduce energy costs for Americans by increasing energy independence.[2]
    • While House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) touted the policies’ ability to let the US “produce our own energy,” the bill is unlikely to pass in the Senate, and the White House said Pres. Joe Biden would veto it.[3]
    • The bill would make it more difficult for a sitting president to limit cross-border energy projects, curtail the ability of states to object to projects that access its waters, and make it easier to sell liquefied natural gas abroad.[4]
    • In addition, the Interior Department would be required to sell rights to drill on federal lands at least four times a year, and the approval process for infrastructure projects would be sped up by setting deadlines for environmental reviews and limiting the amount of time projects could be challenged in court.[4]
    • Last year, Democrats tried to pass permitting reform legislation — a measure to speed up the approval process for energy projects — but were blocked by Senate Republicans, who felt the legislation was lacking.[4]


    Republican narrative

    This bill is part of Republicans’ fight against Biden’s senseless permitting red tape. The US needs to be less reliant on other countries for energy, and this legislation would go a long way in lowering costs for Americans. Even some clean-energy trade groups agree the permitting reform in the bill will benefit their industry.

    Democratic narrative

    This legislation is nothing but a free-for-all for big oil and the rest of the fossil fuel industry. If Republicans really want to provide Americans with better energy policies, they should negotiate with Democrats on a policy that benefits citizens while addressing climate change.

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