H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, is sponsored by Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Energy Commerce Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Transportation and Infrastructure Chair Sam Graves (R-MO). Overall, H.R. 1 combines a variety of proposals to lower costs for American families by significantly increasing domestic energy production and reversing the anti-energy policies of the Biden Administration. It will also strengthen national security, energy security, and economic security by supporting domestic supply chains and improving protections against bad actors and our adversaries.
Increasing Domestic Energy Production
H.R. 1 provides significant changes to support and unleash domestic energy production. If enacted, this legislation would require the Department of the Interior (DOI) to resume lease sales on federal lands and waters and prohibit President Biden from banning hydraulic fracturing. Furthermore, it would repeal all restrictions on the import or export of natural gas and promote interagency coordination for the review and approval of interstate natural gas pipelines. Finally, it would also provide significant regulatory flexibility to cut through bureaucratic red tape by allowing national security and/or energy security waivers for critical energy resource production and by preventing unnecessary bureaucratic delays in the time-consuming permitting and approval process.
Reversing the Biden Administration’s Anti-Energy Policies
The Biden Administration’s continued War on Oil has inflated energy costs for American consumers across the United States. H.R. 1 would reverse many of these costly policies to provide relief for hardworking Americans and their families. Under the legislation, the Biden Administration’s punitive measures targeting energy producers would be repealed, including the $6 billion natural gas tax, a $27 billion slush fund for Democrat special interests, and other harmful royalties and fees imposed on energy production that are ultimately reflected in increased energy costs for American families. Other measures would force the DOI to resume quarterly lease sales on federal lands, including ending the moratorium on new coal leasing, and increase transparency and accountability in the DOI’s onshore and offshore drilling and exploration permits.
Strengthening America’s National Security, Energy Security, and Economic Security
In addition to lowering costs for American families, H.R. 1 would create and implement policies essential for protecting domestic national security, energy security, and economic security. In addition to providing the needed regulatory flexibility to strengthen domestic production of critical energy resources, the bill specifically prohibits the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), or an agent of the CCP, from acquiring any interest with respect to lands leased for oil or gas under certain federal laws. Similarly, mining claimants are barred from using, occupying, or operating on federal land if connected to a foreign bad actor operating an illegal mine in a foreign country or with a known record of human rights violations. Importantly, H.R. 1 also takes critical actions to maximize efficiency and minimize delays for mining projects desperately needed to fill gaps in our supply chain, helping to address our dependence on China for the processing of critical minerals and rare earth elements.
ACLJ Action supports H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, because it will lower energy costs for American families and end the costly leftist war on American domestic energy producers. H.R. 1 is a strong first step toward removing harmful, burdensome, and unnecessary energy regulations; freeing domestic energy production; and implementing policies that strengthen American energy security in the short- and long-term.