Sep 4, 2014

The Hill: House to vote again on energy bills

THE HILL | September 4, 2014

The House is planning to vote again this month on a package of 13 bills aimed at lowering energy prices through means such as approving the Keystone XL pipeline and increasing offshore oil and gas drilling.

The measures all previously passed the House, but the Senate has not voted on them. Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said he wants to remind Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) about the bills by passing them as a complete package.

“With gas prices still hovering near $3.50 per gallon and energy costs siphoning too much out of families’ paychecks, we must enact policies that encourage an American energy revolution,” McCarthy said in a Thursday memo to House Republicans.

“That is why we will send to the Senate a single, common-sense energy plan comprised of House-passed bills focusing on production, infrastructure, reliability and efficiency,” he wrote.

Among the bills up for a new vote is one sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and passed in June to limit the time the Energy Department can take in considering applications to export liquefied natural gas.

Another bill passed last August, sponsored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and meant to force congressional approval of any energy regulation that would cost more than $1 billion.

Many of the bills were passed in a single week in June, when House leaders emphasized measures to reverse Obama administration energy policies.

McCarthy said the House would also vote on a bill to stop the Environmental Protection Agency from moving forward on its proposal to redefine its jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.

“The Obama administration’s federal power grab — attempting to literally define puddles as navigable waterways so they can regulate them — will have broad, negative impacts on a wide range of U.S. industries, most notably agriculture,” McCarthy wrote.

The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the bill in July.