GOP-led House approves a major agenda item to lower energy costs
GOP-led House approves a major agenda item to lower energy costs, but Senate Dems say it’s ‘dead on arrival’
- The final vote was 225-204 – with four Democrats joining all but one Republican and six members not voting. Rep Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., voted against the bill
- Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has declared H.R. 1 in its current form as ‘dead on arrival’ in the upper chamber
House Republicans passed a sprawling energy package that would bring more oil, gas and critical minerals to market by cutting regulations and shortening the permitting process.
The final vote was 225-204 – with four Democrats joining all but one Republican and six members not voting. Rep Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., voted against the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has declared H.R. 1 in its current form as ‘dead on arrival’ in the upper chamber, and President Joe Biden has issued a veto threat. Yet, Republicans insist there is Democratic appetite for some of the provisions.
House Republicans who spoke to DailyMail.com predict their Democratic colleagues could get behind permitting reform and legislation to boost mineral mining as Schumer privately tells senators he expects to move on allowing permitting reform at some point this year.
The Lower Energy Costs Act, which Republicans have given symbolic importance in labeling HR 1, would accelerate the federal permitting process for oil and gas pipelines and critical minerals mining and production.
House Republicans passed a sprawling energy package that would bring more oil, gas and critical minerals to market by cutting regulations and shortening the permitting process
It also includes provisions to force the Biden administration to ramp up oil and gas lease sales on federal land and repeal all restrictions on imports and exports of natural gas.
It would expand oil and gas drilling by narrowing the Clean Water Act, which Democratic-led states have used to block such projects, and scaling back fees for methane emissions in the Inflation Reduction Act and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund.
It would remove some of the subsidies for energy-efficient appliances but does not touch the IRA’s subsidies for electric vehicles and renewable energy technologies.
It would also end the federal moratorium on coal leasing and limit the president’s authority to restrict cross-border energy projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline Biden nixed upon taking office.
The bill would limit environmental reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to two years. A provision from House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Chair Pete Stauber, R-Minn., shortens hard rock mining permit timelines and limits judicial intervention to 120 days.
‘We cannot rely on our adversaries to mine our critical minerals – if the CCP quit selling us the critical minerals that are active in our pharmaceutical ingredients, the experts say it would be a disaster,’ Stauber told DailyMail.com.
And while Schumer calls the bill a ‘wish list for big oil,’ Republicans say it is an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy approach that would help clean energy projects too.
‘Our bill would actually help them build the windmills and solar panels and transmission lines that they can’t build right now,’ Rep. Bruce Westerman, chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, told DailyMail.com.
‘Secretary of the Interior [Deb Haaland] she said in a hearing yesterday we are dependent on China to build electric vehicles,’ he said, referring to Tuesday’s House Appropriations hearing.
House Majority Whip Tom Emmer, R-Minn., said Democratic opposers were using ‘old, tired talking points that don’t fit the bill’ and predict they would come around to some of its provisions.
‘So once it passes the House floor, I think there’s going to be a meeting on the other side of the building to discuss truly what do you want,’ he told DailyMail.com.
‘Of course, Senator Schumer’s gonna say no, right? It’s a Republican idea. Yeah. He’s been bloviating in this town for what 47 years,’ said Stauber. ‘I’ve had private, behind-the scenes-conversations with my Democratic colleagues about the bill. I know they like it, and they really like some provisions.’
‘My colleagues on the left should understand if they want development of renewables, our current system does not support it,’ said Rep. Dusty Johnson, R-S.D.
The bill also includes language from Rep. Anna Paulina Luna, R-Fla., that would prevent ‘foreign bad actors’ who are found to have committed human rights violations from operating on federal lands. It includes an amendment from Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, which bans China from buying U.S. farmland for ethanol and biodiesel production.