House Republicans Propose Bill To Increase Domestic Energy Production

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Michael Ginsberg Congressional Correspondent
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Republicans in the House of Representatives introduced legislation on Tuesday intended to increase domestic energy production and drive down the price of gasoline.

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise introduced H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, alongside Energy and Commerce Committee chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, Natural Resources Committee chairman Bruce Westerman of Arkansas and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Sam Graves of Missouri. House majorities generally give their signature legislation the H.R. 1 label. House Democrats made their elections nationalization package H.R. 1 during the 116th and 117th congresses.

“For the last two years, President Biden and his extremist friends in Washington have waged a war on American energy, and hard-working families across the country are paying the price. Gas and utility costs have skyrocketed to record highs, with the average American paying over 40 percent more for gas at the pump since President Biden took office,” Scalise said in a statement.

“With today’s introduction of the Lower Energy Costs Act, we will show the country how to end the war on American energy, become energy independent again, and lower costs for hard-working families who are struggling under the weight of President Biden’s radical agenda,” he added.

The Lower Energy Costs Act rolls back several executive orders and departmental regulations that have limited carbon energy productions. It prohibits President Joe Biden from banning fracking, and eliminates all restrictions on the import and export of natural gas. It also uses the Congressional Review Act to disapprove of Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline project.

The bill, which is not expected to pass the Senate, also includes provisions supported in the 117th Congress by Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin. Manchin’s Energy Independence and Security Act included amendments to the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act that would have required regulators to approve or reject projects within one year of application for environmental assessments and two years for environmental impact statements. The Lower Energy Costs Act contains the same timeline. (RELATED: Sen. Joe Manchin Caves On Permitting Proposal After Dems Revolt)

Republicans made rising energy prices a key plank of their 2022 midterm strategy. Gas prices nationwide crossed the $5 threshold in the spring and summer of 2022, with the national record set at $5.16 per gallon on April 29, 2022. The average gallon of gas currently costs $3.47, according to AAA, up $1.08 from Biden’s inauguration day.

Biden approved the $8 billion Willow Project on Monday, which will allow ConocoPhillips to develop three drilling sites in Alaska. At the same time, he blocked development of 13 million acres of land.