By Keith Calder
Challenging the President on his domestic energy policies, Senator Ted Cruz outlined a new plan that will undo burdensome, unnecessary Obama regulations and promote American energy independence. The American Energy Renaissance Act will unleash American jobs and opportunities by harnessing our nation’s energy resources, stopping harmful regulations, and eliminate barriers to trade and infrastructure development.
In the upcoming months, EPA regulations will close hundreds of coal-fired power plants throughout coal mining states like West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky. These new environmental regulations will deliver a costly blow to American energy and the United States economy. American citizens will be forced to pay more in taxes and energy costs, and if President Obama’s energy policies are to continue, employment in the coal industry will fall by the thousands.
Senator Cruz’s energy proposal will rejuvenate American Energy in two parts: end federal interference in American energy, and expand private sector energy development.
A top line summary of the bill includes policies such as:
-prevent federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing;
-improve domestic capacity by repealing the Renewable Fuels Standard and streamlining the process for upgrading existing and building new refineries;
-stop EPA overreach and the war on coal;
-force Congress and the President to vote on EPA regulations that kill jobs;
-broaden energy development on federal lands by giving power back to the states;
-build the Keystone Pipeline and remove barriers for approving additional pipelines;
-broaden energy development on federal lands;
-expand offshore exploration and development;
-expand U.S. energy exports;
-and dedicate additional revenues to a trust fund for debt reduction.
It’s no secret that the Obama administration has launched a multi-front attack on fossil fuels in favor of taxpayer-backed failed green companies like Solyandra and Evergreen Solar, wasting millions in the process. Proposed energy regulations coming from the White House have created standards West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin described as “impossible” to achieve.
Senator Cruz’s American Energy Renaissance Act takes a different approach in America’s quest for energy production.
First and foremost, the American Energy Renaissance Act will give power back to the states and private sector, unleashing American energy pioneers and innovators from damaging bureaucratic federal regulations. It will grow the economy by supplying jobs and steady wages.
The United States is presently, thanks to the shale boom, the world’s top petroleum producer. However, although energy production is booming, jobs in too many places are not. In states like North Dakota and Texas, where energy regulations are more sensible,unemployment is well below the national average. They are a model to be followed, not inhibited by federal intrusion.
The construction of the Keystone Pipeline is another no-brainer that the American Energy Renaissance Act will seek to address. The project itself is expected to generate thousands of shovel ready jobs, but the jobs do not stop with Keystone. It will also supply a much needed boost to variety of “spin off” jobs when suppliers, and suppliers of suppliers, get involved in the construction of the pipeline. The bill provides that no presidential permit will be required for the construction of Keystone, and any environmental reviews shall be considered to satisfy NEPA requirements.
Additionally, the bill removes future barriers that hinder the development and improvement of additional pipelines and cross-border energy infrastructure. Cross-border energy infrastructure will provide more trade with our friends Canada and Mexico, also generating jobs here at home.
Under the Energy Renaissance Act, development will expand on federal land by giving states the option to control energy development on federal lands within their borders, offshore exploration will widen, and energy exports will increase. Any additional revenue generated by the exploration and drilling on federal lands, excluding shares allocated to the states, will be used exclusively for debt reduction— the “Debt Freedom Fund.”
Today, natural gas prices are hitting four year highs and electricity prices continue to spike, in part due to the failed energy policies of the current administration. The American Energy Renaissance Act is far different approach to domestic energy policy than what we have witnessed the last five years. It will not only boost energy production, the Energy Renaissance Act will create jobs, increase trade, reduce debt, stop burdensome regulations, and give power back to the states and private sector.
Senator Cruz said it best, “we are seeing the beginning of an American energy renaissance. And if the federal Government doesn’t get in the way and mess it up, that has the potential to transform the situation for so many people who are struggling.”
Congress should pass the American Energy Renaissance Act in order to unleash America’s energy resources as a key driver of national prosperity.
By Keith Calder