Aug 17, 2015

House’s Policies Build America’s Energy Renaissance

Ever since hydraulic fracturing created an era of renewed American energy prosperity, we haven’t looked back. America is now the world leader in oil and gas production. As House Republicans continue to promote policies that support this robust development—and the jobs and economic growth that come with it—Congress is ensuring our energy security is here to stay.

Our neighbors Canada and Mexico also support this effort, and they have a lot to contribute. In fact, North American energy independence has been a vision for House Republicans and the American people for years. Standing in the way, however,  is the Obama Administration, which has turned a routine pipeline approval process into a 6 1/2 year  national embarrassment.  Despite this and other attempts to put the brakes on our energy renaissance, the forces of job creation and energy security have inspired policy reforms throughout the continent.

Perhaps those same forces are behind the Commerce Department’s latest decision to allow the U.S. to trade oil with Mexico. The details are unclear and the reasoning more technical than transformative, but opening up our energy trade with our neighbor is a positive step, and one that the House will continue to build on.

Earlier this year, the House passed legislation to approve the Keystone pipeline, which would strengthen our energy partnership with Canada. We reformed the permitting process to speed up the approval of natural gas export applications. This summer, the Energy and Commerce committee advanced its energy reform package that bolsters the geopolitical benefits of North American energy production.

And perhaps the most watched development will be the upcoming debate in the House to lift the ban on oil exports.

These reforms are important. After all, it’s private investment, not government policies, behind America’s energy fortunes (have you filled up your tank lately?!) However, these times of good fortune are not assured. Unless Washington adapts to our new energy reality, the benefits could be lost. But beyond protecting against potential losses, we can have even more prosperous times ahead if we get our energy policy right.

For instance, if the ban on crude oil exports were lifted, the Government Accountability Office reports that gas prices could fall and “lead to increases in employment.” The report goes on: “This growth in the oil sector would—in turn—have additional positive effects in the rest of the economy, including for employment and government revenues.” 

American energy is a bright spot in an economy that is continues to lag along. These benefits can also extend to our neighbors and allies. House Republicans have been relentless in the pursuit of North American energy independence. While the Administration’s Friday decision is a welcomed small step, the House will continue to move in a bold direction to secure the economic and security benefits from the North American energy renaissance.