Energy and Power Subcommittee Approves Legislation that Responds to High Gas Prices

April 17, 2012

WASHINGTON, DC - The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield Upton (R-MI), today approved a pair of commonsense bills that could prevent further price increases at the pump. The panel advanced the Gasoline Regulations Act to help cut through red tape that will drive up energy prices, along with the Strategic Energy Production Act, legislation to ensure President Obama does not tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve without also taking steps to increase American energy production. Both bills now move to the full committee for consideration. 

The Gasoline Regulations Act will ensure policymakers and the American public understand how federal regulations contribute to the price of gasoline, and slow certain forthcoming rules until we understand the consequences. The bill would require an interagency committee to study the cumulative impacts of certain EPA rules on the price of transportation fuels, employment, and the economy. The legislation would also prevent the EPA from finalizing three of its most costly rules until after the study is complete.

"Over the past three years, prices at the gas pump have more than doubled, and that is unacceptable," said Whitfield. "Today, the subcommittee considered commonsense legislation that will ensure that the federal government doesn't add to the pain at the pump by implementing regulations without first understanding the full costs they will have on consumers, jobs, and economic growth."

The Strategic Energy Production Act, authored by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-CO), will force the president to consider long-term supply solutions over short-term political gimmicks. The bill requires that any future drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve be coupled with a plan to expand domestic energy production. If the president chooses to tap the SPR, then his administration must also commit to proportional leasing of federal lands and offshore areas.

"If the administration is going to pursue short-term policies such as using the SPR for market manipulation, then we should, at a minimum, couple that with long-term supply solutions. That is what this bill does. It says that if there is a problem large enough to warrant tapping into our oil reserves, we should acknowledge that problem and at the same time put in place a longer-term solution that involves opening domestic land for oil production," said Gardner. 

"Many factors impact the price per gallon of gasoline, including global events that are not easily controlled by Congress. But some factors are squarely within our control, and we owe it to the American people to do something about them. This includes increasing domestic oil production and cutting red tape. And that is precisely what the Strategic Energy Production Act and the Gasoline Regulations Act will help accomplish," said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).