House Passes Sweeping Bill to Spur American Energy Independence, Lower Gas Prices
The House passed Republicans’ signature legislation, the Lower Energy Costs Act, on Thursday with support from four Democrats and all but one Republican.
The bill, labeled H.R. 1 to signal it is the GOP’s top legislative priority, passed 225 to 204.
All but one Republican, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA) voted in favor of it. Four Democrats, Reps. Henry Cuellar (TX), Vincente Gonzalez (TX), Jared Golden (ME), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA), broke with their party to also vote in favor of it.
House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), the leading sponsor of the bill, celebrated the legislative victory in a statement and ripped President Joe Biden for prioritizing a climate-driven energy agenda.
“From the day he took office, President Biden has waged a war on American energy, and hardworking families are the ones paying the price,” Scalise said.
Noting some of the measures in the expansive, 175-page bill, Scalise said, “The Lower Energy Costs Act will increase American energy production, reform our broken permitting process, reverse the Biden Administraion’s [sic] radical anti-energy policies, streamline our energy exports and imports, and boost the mining of critical minerals.”
Among its provisions, the bill would require the Department of the Interior to “immediately” resume any stalled onshore oil and gas lease sales, shorten the often years-long amount of time permitting takes, and eliminate certain restrictions on imports and exports in the energy market.
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While the bill is unlikely to be picked up in the Senate in its current form, Biden has vowed to veto it in the off-chance it reaches his desk, claiming the bill provides a “thinly veiled license to pollute” and would “take us backward.”
Energy and Commerce Committe chair Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) told Breitbart News on Wednesday evening that she hopes “at least that some of the provisions” of the lengthy bill will see a vote in the Senate.
“I certainly believe the Senate should give it strong consideration. This is a package that is about energy independence, bringing down the costs and securing supply chains. I’m hopeful. I’ve had some conversations [with senators] about permitting reform in particular,” Rodgers said, adding that she was optimistic “at least that some of the provisions would be considered in the Senate.”
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