Subcommittee Advances Energy and Jobs Bills

July 10, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC – The Subcommittee on Energy and Power, chaired by Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY), today approved a group of important jobs and energy bills.

H.R. 1582, the Energy Consumers Relief Act, was approved by a vote of 17 to 10. This commonsense legislation, authored by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA), will help protect consumers by increasing transparency for major EPA regulations that may drive up energy costs and destroy jobs. The bill provides for greater checks and balances over EPA’s most expensive energy rules. It requires that before EPA finalizes any new energy-related rules estimated to cost more than $1 billion, the agency must submit a report to Congress detailing certain cost, benefit, energy price, and job impacts, and the Secretary of Energy, in consultation with other relevant agencies, must make a determination regarding the impacts of the rule. EPA would be prohibited from finalizing certain rules if the rule is determined to cause significant adverse effects to the economy.

“There should be transparency for those Americans who cannot afford a lobbyist but whose livelihoods may be impacted by costly new regulations,” said Cassidy. “The American people cannot afford to have jobs shipped overseas to countries with fewer environmental regulations. More rationality, transparency, and accountability must be brought to the EPA and its rule-making process.”

“It is now more important than ever to weigh the consequences of EPA’s actions. The U.S. is on a pathway to unprecedented energy self-sufficiency thanks to technological innovations that have allowed us to safely tap the nation’s abundant energy resources,” said Chairman Whitfield. “Without the additional checks and balances provided by H.R. 1582, this pathway will remain threatened by an agency that fails to provide the American people with a transparent and accurate picture of the sweeping cumulative impacts of its own regulations.”

H.R. 1900, the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act, passed by a vote of 17 to 9. Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) authored this bipartisan legislation to help expedite and modernize the federal review process for natural gas pipeline permits. The legislation helps facilitate the construction of new pipelines needed to help transport the nation’s growing natural gas supply to markets and consumers. To do this, the bill sets reasonable deadlines for review and helps hold agencies involved in the permitting process accountable.

“This is a bipartisan piece of legislation that is aimed at making some pretty simple, commonsense reforms to the natural gas pipeline permitting process,” said Pompeo. “The legislation simply gives companies looking to invest in gas pipeline infrastructure some degree of certainty regarding how long a permitting process will take and brings the statute up to date given current demands for pipeline infrastructure.”

“Natural gas is going to be a big part of our energy future, but only if we cut the red tape from the past. We are a nation of builders, not a nation of bottlenecks. The certainty provided by this legislation will help natural gas pipeline projects get sited and built without undue delay, while also ensuring such projects are safe and environmentally sound,” added full committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI).

The subcommittee also advanced H.R. 83, a bill authored by Rep. Donna Christensen (D-VI) that would require the Secretary of the Interior to assemble a team of experts to address the energy needs of the insular areas of the United States and the Freely Associated States through the development of an energy action plan. The measure passed by voice vote.

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