The House of Representatives passed Republicans’ signature energy package, the Lower Energy Costs Act, in a mostly party-line vote Thursday.
The legislation, introduced by House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, includes permitting reform and rolls back several executive orders that limit domestic energy production. Democratic Texas Reps. Vicente Gonzalez and Henry Cuellar, Maine Rep. Jared Golden, and Washington Rep. Marie Glusenkamp Perez voted with 221 Republicans in supporting the package. Pennsylvania Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick was the only Republican to oppose it.
225-204: The House passes the Lower Energy Costs Act, Republicans’ marquee energy bill.
Deemed H.R. 1, signifying its high priority for the House GOP, it would increase domestic fossil fuel production and repeal several climate provisions of the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act. pic.twitter.com/xGT5l5XAh1
— The Recount (@therecount) March 30, 2023
“What a great day this is for American families who have been struggling for too long under the weight of high prices, record-high inflation, all of the problems that President Biden has created, and especially for those people that have been frustrated to so long that President Biden has gone after American energy but yet gone all around the world and begged foreign dictators to get our energy from them,” Scalise said at a press conference held after the bill passed. “This has never been a question of whether or not we have oil or natural gas in the U.S. The question is, ‘where do we get it?'”
The Lower Energy Costs Act, which is not expected to pass the Senate, would resume construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which Biden blocked on his first day in office. It also includes reforms of the National Environmental Policy Act and the Clean Water Act initially proposed by Democratic West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin in the 117th Congress that would speed up permitting for various projects. (RELATED: Will Democrats Screw Over Joe Manchin?)
The legislation would also prohibit foreign companies from mining on U.S. soil if those companies have documented histories of human rights violation. That provision is targeted at Chinese entities, many of which employ Uyghur slave labor.