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The Leader’s Floor Lookout: Week of March 18, 2024

Here’s what to watch for on the House Floor this week:

Denouncing Biden’s Disastrous Anti-American Energy Policies

Since his first day in office, President Biden has implemented policies to crush American energy production, increasing our reliance on foreign adversaries for energy and raising costs on American families. On day one, President Biden issued an executive order canceling the $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline, which would have transported up to 830,000 barrels of heavy crude oil a day, costing American workers their jobs and threatening our energy security.

Just this January, the Biden Administration announced they would be halting approvals for liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, despite previous studies showing that American LNG exports protect global energy security, create American jobs, and reduce emissions. 

This was a blatant political ploy to satisfy radical climate activists that are dead set on shutting down American energy production. Banning LNG exports will only increase our dependency on China, the biggest climate polluter in the world. That’s why House Republicans passed a bill in February to stop the Biden Administration’s ban on LNG exports, H.R. 7176, the Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act of 2024.

When President Biden started taking political heat for the high gas prices resulting from his anti-American policies, he decided to deplete our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to mask how his far-left climate agenda has raised energy costs for American families – threatening our national security for a political band-aid. To make it worse, he then turned around and sold millions of barrels of our reserves to China. We passed a bill to stop that, as well: H.R. 22, the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act.

These are just a few of President Biden’s disastrous energy policies that American families are paying the price for every day at the gas station, the grocery store, and in utility bills. If President Biden really wanted to reduce carbon emissions and promote cleaner energy, he would unleash American energy instead of turning to polluters like China – not crush energy production with burdensome red tape. We produce energy better than anywhere else in the world, and we lower costs, create jobs, and shore up our energy security while we do it. 

H. Res. 987, introduced by Rep. Dan Newhouse, denounces the Biden Administration’s disastrous and harmful anti-American energy policies that are raising costs for hardworking Americans, and putting our energy security and the security of our allies at risk.

House Republicans already passed H.R.1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, to combat President Biden’s failed energy policies, which included many of the reforms in the bills coming to the floor this week. We won’t stop fighting to reduce costs for all Americans, and will continue passing legislation to unleash American energy and hold the Biden Administration accountable. 

Repealing Democrats’ Green Bank Slush Fund

When Democrats passed their massive so-called Inflation Reduction Act, they included a $27 billion “green bank” called the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) intended to allow the EPA to finance clean energy projects by funding individual organizations. 

Typically, the EPA would award grants themselves through a public process based on merit. Instead, in April 2023, the EPA announced that it would distribute GGRF funds to a few selected politically aligned nonprofit organizations and allow them to distribute the funding – outsourcing their duties to unelected Washington bureaucrats.

If that wasn’t bad enough, many current EPA political appointees have close ties to these politically aligned organizations and held multiple meetings with them before announcing their grant framework. 

Simply put, the EPA’s grant distribution framework redesigns a $27 billion program to award billions of dollars to the Biden Administration’s political allies by creating grants specifically for organizations with ties to EPA appointees – building a slush fund for Democrats' political allies with no oversight or accountability to taxpayers.

Additionally, some of these funds will inevitably end up in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party, as China controls 60 percent of the production of critical minerals, which are essential to transitioning to ‘clean energy.’ We shouldn’t be making our country more reliant on foreign adversaries for energy at the discretion of organizations politically aligned with the Biden Administration – we should be investing in American energy independence.

H.R. 1023, the Cutting Green Corruption and Taxes Act, introduced by Rep. Gary Palmer, repeals the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, preventing unelected bureaucrats from forcing their climate agenda on the American people without any oversight or accountability. 

House Republicans won’t let taxpayer dollars be spent without accountability by Washington bureaucrats to further a political agenda and potentially threaten our energy security.

Protecting American Energy from Biden Fracking Moratorium   

Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is a drilling technology used for extracting oil, natural gas, geothermal energy, or water from deep underground – accounting for two-thirds of the natural gas in the United States and half of the nation’s oil, and positioning the U.S. as the world's leading producer of natural gas and oil.

Despite the large amount of American energy it produces, fracking is under threat, as President Biden has repeatedly caved to radical environmental activists and made statements about ending fossil fuel production in the United States. 

In a Democrat primary debate in July 2019, then-presidential candidate Biden said “we would make sure it's eliminated” about fracking, and later, at a debate in March 2020, Biden said “no more – no new fracking.”

Although fracking has been consistently attacked for contaminating groundwater, a study conducted by the EPA under the Obama Administration found that fracking has had no “widespread, systemic impacts on drinking water resources in the United States.”

American energy production through fracking leads to lower energy prices for families and workers, boosts economic growth, and improves quality of life for Americans. We must protect American energy production from President Biden’s radical anti-American energy agenda. 

Rep. Jeff Duncan’s legislation, H.R. 1121, the Protecting American Energy Production Act, prevents President Biden from implementing a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to protect American energy production, and expresses that states have primacy over energy production on state and private land.

House Republicans won’t stop fighting to combat misguided climate policies that shut down American energy production and ensure energy is affordable for all Americans.

Expressing that a Carbon Tax Would Be Detrimental to Americans

In 2023, U.S. energy consumption derived from fossil fuels was around 80 percent. By enacting a carbon tax, the Biden Administration would increase energy prices across the board, including the price of gasoline, electricity, natural gas, and home heating oil. 

Subsequently, a carbon tax would increase the cost of every good produced in the United States, driving up cost of living, crushing families, and forcing hardworking Americans to pay even more than they already are under President Biden’s failed energy policies at the pump, in their electricity bills, and at the grocery store. 

And, a carbon tax would hurt lower income families the most: Low income households spend a higher percentage of their income on energy, gasoline, and heating, leaving little left for other essentials when energy prices are high.

Furthermore, a carbon tax would drive businesses and jobs overseas, where there is no carbon tax burden, hurting our economic growth, encouraging development and innovation abroad, and threatening our position on the world stage by reducing our global competitiveness. 

Hasn’t President Biden’s energy crisis crushed families enough? Is there anyone who believes we need to be paying more to fill up our cars or put food on the table? Maybe the radical climate activists that the Administration consistently cave to believe so, but Americans are sick and tired of paying the price for President Biden’s energy policy failures – they don’t want to turn around and pay even more because woke bureaucrats decide to implement a carbon tax.

Rep. Ryan Zinke’s legislation, H. Con. Res. 86, expresses the sense of Congress that a carbon tax would not be in the best interest of the country because it would raise energy prices, crush American families and businesses, and be detrimental to the United States economy.

We should be encouraging energy innovation and production, not squashing it to the detriment of hardworking Americans and businesses. House Republicans will continue working to lower costs for American families and workers and prevent the Biden Administration from implementing harmful policies like a carbon tax that would only hurt Americans more.


Reforming CWA Permitting Processes and Restoring Regulatory Certainty 

The Clean Water Act is meant to support American farming, fishing, and manufacturing industries and maintain healthy communities across the country. However, unfortunately, the Clean Water Act has been used over the years to hold up permits, preventing critical infrastructure and energy projects from advancing and impeding American energy production.

House Republicans are bringing forward a package of legislation that includes targeted reforms to bolster and simplify the permitting process for permit seekers and holders, increase regulatory certainty, and provide more clarity for agencies issuing permits.

Our legislation would streamline the Nationwide Permit (NWP) process, direct the EPA to propose any changes to water quality criteria for states through a rule, modify the EPA and the U.S. Corps of Engineers permitting process that regulates the discharge of dredged or fill material into U.S. waters, and instruct the EPA and the Corps to issue guidance on the implementation of the 2023 "Waters of the United States" rule that complies with the Supreme Court decision in Sackett v. EPA.

Additionally, the bill modifies the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program by providing statutory authority for provisions that protect permit holders acting in good faith from frivolous lawsuits, make it easier for the EPA to issue general permits under the program, and require the EPA to give written notice two years before a general permit expires. 

By clarifying our permitting process and getting rid of crushing regulations, American manufacturers and industries will be able to better utilize our natural resources, build infrastructure to improve transportation, and unleash American energy to restore our independence.

H.R. 7023, the Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act, sponsored by Rep. David Rouzer, consists of five bills that reform and restore permitting processes under the Clean Water Act, ensuring they are more consistent and transparent and providing greater regulatory certainty. 

House Republicans will continue cutting through burdensome red tape and proposing common sense reforms to ensure critical energy and transportation infrastructure projects are able to move forward efficiently.

Blocking the BLM from Stifling American Energy Production 

Since President Biden’s first day in the Oval Office, his Bureau of Land Management (BLM) has fought to hinder American energy production on federal lands through burdensome regulations.

In July 2023, President Biden’s BLM proposed a rule to update its regulations on oil and gas leasing – making significant, non-statutory changes to their onshore oil and gas leasing program that would crush production and hurt small businesses. 

The proposed rule would needlessly increase bonding rates for oil and gas production on federal lands, unfairly burdening small operators that can’t obtain a bond without significant collateral. Additionally, the rule would implement new “preference criteria” for onshore oil and gas leasing, significantly restricting areas available for production even though the BLM already requires operators to reduce their impact on wildlife and resources. The rule also doesn’t allow for leasing in areas that aren’t currently producing, preventing small operators from maintaining their business.

The impacts of the BLM’s proposed rule, as well as the new, higher fees and limited flexibility, would significantly impede oil and gas production on federal lands, threatening our energy security and stifling small businesses.

It’s time to increase American energy production and restore energy leadership, not stifle production at every turn with ridiculous regulations while Americans and small businesses suffer. No one produces energy cleaner, better, or safer than the United States – so let’s unleash American energy, bolster our energy security, and make energy affordable for all Americans.

H.R. 6009, the Restoring American Energy Dominance Act, introduced by Rep. Lauren Boebert, would block the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed rule entitled “Fluid Mineral Leases and Leasing Process,” that would stifle American energy production on federal lands and burden small businesses, and prevent the BLM from implementing a similar rule in the future.

House Republicans will continue the fight to unleash American energy, support small businesses and families, and restore our country to energy dominance.