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The Leader’s Floor Lookout: Thursday, March 21, 2024

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

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. 

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.