Don’t Miss from E&C in Midland: “The goal of the committee is to make lives better for the American people.”
Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers (R-WA) and Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Chairman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) led Subcommittee members in a field hearing in Midland, Texas. Local civil and energy officials celebrated the economic and public benefits of a strong oil and gas industry in the Permian Basin and the country as a whole, and warned of the dangers of President Biden shutting down American energy.
Check out these stories from the hearings:
Midland leaders were witnesses that spoke in front of the committee and gave testimony about the importance of West Texas in oil and gas production.
“15 different representatives who have different constituencies but the thing that remains the same in those consistencies is a need for energy,” said Congressman August Pfluger. “What the community needs and what they need right now, what the American people need right now, what families need right now is low cost energy.”
The goal of the committee is to make lives better for [the] American people.
“Providing affordable energy is important is critical for the health of all of us,” said Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks of Iowa.
Midland Mayor Lori Blong, local business owner Adrian Carrasco, and I-P-A-A Chairman Steve Pruett all testified in front of the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
This hearing centered around the benefits that the Permian Basin provides to America’s economic and national security.
“You cannot understand US energy without visiting the Permian Basin,” said Congressman Pfluger.
“As Representatives of the people’s house, we do the most important thing, which is getting the hell out of your way,” said Kat Cammack, Florida-District 3
It’s no secret to West Texans the vital role the Permian Basin plays in America’s economy and national security but not everyone in the country knows that.
And that’s what today’s hearing was all about, showing how big of an impact West Texas has on the world and how members of Congress can help West Texas continue to grow.
“Midland is doing it better than, cleaner, cheaper, safer than any place else on the planet. We need to learn from their experience and we need to get out of their way and allow them to do the job that they’ve done so well over the past 100 years” said Rep. Michael Burgess, Texas District 26.
CHAIR RODGERS: “Our primary energy objective is to ensure reliable, secure, and affordable delivery of energy to Americans to their homes, to their businesses, the grocery stores, and everywhere in between. We must build upon our nation’s diverse and abundant natural resources, to create more secure supplies, more dependable power. We must work to develop a predictable regulatory landscape, one that unleashes America’s unmatched genius for innovation and technological leadership.
“While we have examined solutions in our hearing room in Washington, D.C., to secure our energy future, we are here today in Texas to see where it all begins, in places like the Permian Basin. It begins with the workers, the families, all the people living and working in energy producing communities, like Midland, and so many others, large and small, throughout this country. We cannot achieve a more secure energy future, create more jobs, and increase affordability without the people who do this work and take the risks to produce American energy.”
SUBCOMMITTEE CHAIR DUNCAN: “Two years ago, America was energy dominant for the first time since 1952. In 2019, we became the number one oil and gas producer in the world. This drove down the cost for consumers at home and benefitted our allies abroad by providing supply as an alternative to Russia and OPEC. Much of this success is owed to the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit of the shale revolution, created by hydraulic fracturing in the production of both oil and natural gas. Something this community knows better than anyone. Energy and Commerce Republicans have solutions to build off the success of the shale revolution and get us back to energy dominance – we have a series of bills that aim to unleash innovation by creating regulatory certainty and encouraging long-term investment. This is in sharp contrast to the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats who want to make oil and gas production impossible.”
At the field hearing, witnesses testified about the need for American energy production and the many benefits it provides to the community. Below are excerpts and highlights of prepared testimony:
The Honorable Lori Blong, Mayor of Midland, Texas, and President of Octane Energy
“The pipeline and infrastructure permitting headwinds, current SEC driven ESG movement, and the current administration’s vow to ‘put an end to fossil fuels’ are all creating growing market distortions and need to be reversed. These policies prevent individual Americans and American businesses from growing as we otherwise could, prevent us from creating jobs as we otherwise could, and most importantly prevents our country from being energy secure as it otherwise could.
“Many members of this subcommittee have stated that energy security is national security. I could not agree more. Russian aggression toward a sovereign neighbor, the People’s Republic of China brutally repressing its own citizens and testing the resolve of the United States – these are not chapters in a history book. These are today’s newspaper headlines. History shows us that conflict is brought about by the desire of one or more sides to gain the resources of another. We have the energy we need right here in the Permian Basin, to keep American homes warm, to provide electricity to hospitals and schools, and to keep our country and allies safe. But we must have federal advocacy and support for the energy production we require.
“If the Federal Government truly wants to work with energy companies to positively impact the environment, one tangible suggestion is to significantly invest in technologies for beneficial reuse of produced water from oil and natural gas extraction. The technology for beneficial reuse of produced water already exists; we simply need to find ways to make that technology economically scalable, to benefit the millions of Americans in everyday communities in the central and western states, where abundant clean water is a game-changer on so many levels. Federal efforts in this case could help to accelerate our beneficial reuse efforts, rather than the federal efforts we have seen to restrict our industry but which do not ultimately benefit our communities.
“The messages, virtue signaling and rhetoric that have come from the federal level lately tell us oil and gas is evil or not on the side of average American or on the side of care for our environment. This could not be further from the truth. Responsible operators in the Permian are committed to paying excellent wages for the flourishing of our people and committed to ever-improving technology for the flourishing of our surrounding environment.”
Mr. Adrian Carrasco, Chairman Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and President of Premier Energy Services
“We all know that small businesses play a key role in increasing commerce, providing jobs, and bringing economic development within our community. It is crucial that we continue to provide business education, funding opportunities for business growth, and guidance for positive growth. As communities like Midland grow, we look to entrepreneurs to develop businesses that meet the need of the community and its growth.”
“Due to the positive impact of the oil and gas industry on local communities, this has given aspiring entrepreneurs the opportunity to fulfill dreams of owning a business. We have seen home bakers open restaurants and bakery shops. Restaurants expand their businesses into second locations and catering services to the oil field drill sites. Licensed commercial electricians have expanded services into the oil and gas sector and cosmetologists and barbers have opened their own shops. I applaud the great work of the Midland Development Corporation and Kevin Dawson with Maybe Midland/Odessa on their successful efforts of bringing new brands of restaurants, family entertainment centers, aerospace and aviation related businesses to Midland. Midland is home to over 6,200 business establishments and it drives over 100,000 jobs. Oil and Gas in the Permian is an economic driver not only here but throughout this nation and the world. [The Midland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce] will continue to support our local minority and small business owners so they can provide economic growth and commerce in our community.”
Mr. Steven Pruett, President and CEO, Elevation Resources, in Midland, and Chairman of the Board for Independent Petroleum Association of America
“Negative messaging by the Biden administration discourages people from joining our industry. COVID relief reduced our workforce as workers stayed home, living on government handouts. My generation is approaching retirement, setting the oil and gas industry up for the ‘great crew change.’ However, there are not enough young people to replace my generation in the oil industry. Over the last 2 years, the oilfield has experienced 15% wage inflation if you can find qualified workers. We’ve also experienced months-long delays in completing or repairing wells and facilities due to manpower and equipment shortages. Drilling & completion costs for my company have risen from $8 million in 2021 to $11 million per well in 2022 due to escalating input costs including steel and labor, while weak natural gas and liquids prices have reduced our returns, thus limiting drilling activity.
“To reduce uncertainty and improve the investment climate needed to grow U.S. oil and gas production, we need Congress to provide oversight of the EPA, DOI, FERC and SEC as it relates to regulations affecting the oil and natural gas industry broadly defined from the wellhead to the consumer.”