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H.R. 8, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act

Nov 30, 2015

H.R. 8 is a broad energy bill that seeks to maximize America’s energy potential. The legislation seeks to update and modernize outdated policies rooted in an era of energy scarcity to reflect today’s era of energy abundance, and make our energy infrastructure more resilient and create jobs. 

Modernizing Energy Infrastructure
The United States has undergone an energy renaissance driven by newly discovered resources, technological innovation and our skilled workforce. The U.S. is now the world’s leading energy producer, but our pipelines and electric grid haven’t kept pace with the rapid transition. The private sector is eager to invest in new projects to put people to work, but there is simply too much government red tape slowing down the siting and permitting process. Likewise, our electricity sector is constantly evolving in the light of new challenges, such as changing markets, costly environmental regulations, and increasing grid security threats. H.R. 8 focuses on the transmission, distribution, and storage of energy to ensure we have the necessary infrastructure to meet today’s modern energy challenges. 

Protecting the Electricity System
Ensuring the electric grid is secure, resilient, and reliable is another top priority of H.R. 8.  Changing market dynamics, a barrage of regulations, and external threats have created new energy security and reliability challenges. Disruptions in the delivery of electricity have far-reaching economic and public health impacts. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that power outages cost Americans at least $150 billion annually. The legislation seeks to meet today’s energy reliability and security challenges through enhanced emergency preparedness and utilization of advanced technologies to address threats to the electricity system, including physical and cyber-attacks, electromagnetic pulse, geomagnetic disturbances, severe weather, and seismic events.

Strengthening Energy Security and Diplomacy 
As the world’s leading producer of petroleum and natural gas, the U.S. is a world energy superpower. With this position comes new opportunities and diplomatic responsibilities. America’s energy abundance should be used to strengthen our energy security while also supporting our allies in their quest for affordable and reliable energy. H.R. 8 takes important steps by strengthening partnerships with our allies and reforming the approval process for energy exports.    

Improving Energy Efficiency and Government Accountability
New technologies have the potential to save money and reduce energy use, yet government roadblocks stand in the way. H.R. 8 promotes simple and affordable methods to address energy demand and lower electric bills. It also seeks to reduce government waste and prioritize budget dollars in existing programs, as well as provide important regulatory relief for U.S. manufacturers from burdensome federal efficiency mandates.