Wicker Applauds House GOP Energy Bill

The Lower Energy Costs Act Would Lower Prices and Promote Energy Independence

April 10, 2023

After more than two years of President Biden's disastrous war on American energy, it is encouraging to see that a far better approach may soon be passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The new Republican majority there is putting forward an alternative that would end the administration's handouts to the climate lobby and replace them with policies that work – incentivizing domestic production and energy independence.  The Lower Energy Costs Act, designated H.R. 1 to show it is a top priority, is exactly the change of direction we need for our economy and for national security.

Republican Plan Would Lower Costs and Create Jobs

It is no surprise that Americans today are needlessly paying too much for gas and electricity. The President’s green agenda was designed to do just that. Conservatives understand that we can pursue clean energy and low prices at the same time. The Democrats’ policies rely on corporate fees and spending, while Republicans want to incentivize innovative energy companies to invest in America.

The Lower Energy Costs Act would increase the national production of oil and coal, raising supply and reducing costs. It would roll back provisions in President Biden’s absurdly-named Inflation Reduction Act by eliminating costly methane fees, which primarily hurt small businesses, and by ending a $27 billion fund for green energy projects. Additionally, a seemingly endless bureaucratic process drives producers elsewhere to avoid years in permitting limbo. H.R. 1 would expedite that process and also cap environmental reviews at two years so more companies will want to build at home.

Permit reform could garner bipartisan support in the Senate. Unfortunately, Senator Schumer has no interest in discussions, declaring the bill “dead on arrival.”

Energy Independence Would Make Us Safer

Producing our own oil, gas, and minerals protects us from volatile situations in other energy-producing countries. But President Biden has made us more dependent on foreign — sometimes hostile — nations. The administration has blocked gas and coal leases on federal lands, decreasing American production and forcing us to buy abroad. They have also blocked access to critical mineral mines, unwisely allowing China to strengthen its position in that supply chain. These minerals power our batteries, compose hip and knee replacements, and become medicine ingredients, among other uses. As Xi Jinping increases his hostility toward the United States, relying on China for critical minerals is increasingly risky.

The Lower Energy Costs Act encourages domestic critical mineral mining so that we can make use of our own vast mineral resources. If Beijing decides to stop selling to us one day, we would be able to continue production of vital, everyday technologies. Becoming energy independent makes us more secure in an increasingly insecure world.

H.R. 1 Would Boost Investment in Mississippi

H.R. 1 would also bring more funds home to Mississippi. Today, Gulf Coast states get 37.5 percent of the oil and gas revenues generated in federal waters off their coasts. If the bill becomes law, that percentage would increase to 50 percent and would be guaranteed in the event of a congressional sequestration. By investing in the Gulf Coast, the Lower Energy Costs Act boosts our local economies.

I have long opposed President Biden’s energy programs, which make us look weak on the global stage as a U.S. president fist bumps the Saudi Crown Prince and begs OPEC for oil. His policies eliminate jobs, like the 11,000 potential Keystone XL pipeline roles. The United States has the resources, infrastructure, and people to be a leader in energy production and even green innovation – if the president will unleash the marketplace.