Committee Approves Common-Sense Solutions to Address High Gas Prices

May 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - Continuing its efforts under the American Energy Initiative, the House Energy and Commerce Committee today passed the Gasoline Regulations Act and Strategic Energy Production Act. The bills, which both passed with bipartisan support, aim to protect consumers from higher gas prices and promote U.S. energy security.

H.R. 4471, the Gasoline Regulations Act, introduced by Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) and Rep. John Barrow (D-GA), will address the costly consequences of pending EPA regulations affecting fuel prices. The EPA is currently considering a host of new regulations on domestic refiners that threaten to drive up the price of gasoline and eliminate jobs. The bill’s “look-before-you-leap” approach will ensure the Obama administration does not finalize certain costly EPA regulations impacting transportation fuels before the cumulative costs of these rules are fully understood.

”The Obama Administration’s regulators have shown a pattern of rolling out bad regulations and doing so at the worst possible time,” said Whitfield. “And now, the EPA is about to embark on a number of measures likely to put upward pressure on future prices at the pump. We need to learn more about the cumulative cost of these regulations before we allow this to happen.”

Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO) introduced H.R. 4480, the Strategic Energy Production Act, to promote long-term domestic energy supply solutions over short-term political gimmicks. The legislation will require that any future drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve be coupled with a plan to expand American energy production. It says that if the president chooses to tap our emergency reserves, his administration must also develop a plan to increase the percentage of federal lands leased for oil and gas production.

”This bill is simple. It says that if the if the President draws down the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a plan must be in place to increase leases on federal lands so more production can occur,” said Gardner. “With only three percent of public land now leased for oil and gas production, we have an incredible opportunity to responsibly utilize the vast resources on our federal lands. We need good policy, not politics.”

”Prices have dropped a bit over the last month, but that’s hardly an excuse for doing nothing. Granted, $3.75 a gallon is better than $4.00 a gallon, but it is still no bargain, and if we maintain business as usual we could again be facing record high prices in the not-too distant-future,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI). “This is no time for complacency, especially when EPA is poised to move ahead with a train wreck of new regulations and so much of the nation’s oil wealth remains off-limits. Whether prices go up or down in the weeks ahead, I remain committed to sensible long-term approaches like those embodied in these two bills.”

###