Pass Lower Energy Costs Act and let Pennsylvania power a prosperous future

With families struggling under the weight of crippling inflation, a looming recession, and unrest proliferating around the world, Americans are looking for real solutions to the crises at hand. Fortunately, the solution is both simple and possible: End the Biden administration’s destructive war on U.S. energy production.

How do we do that? We can start by embracing House Bill 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act.

It is no secret that immediately upon taking office, President Biden made the war on American energy priority No. 1, from canceling the Keystone XL pipeline to declaring a moratorium on federal leasing. This war has since been elevated by the misguided support of Democratic lawmakers and gigantic climate and tax packages that fuel inflation with irresponsible green spending and make it harder to produce the energy we need here at home. 

The consequences of this failure of U.S. energy policy have been far-reaching and devastating. Americans are feeling the burden of these failed energy policies from the gas station to the grocery store. Energy inflation is up more than 37% since Mr. Biden took office, and the impacts reverberate throughout our economy. Meanwhile, the Biden administration blames U.S. energy producers and seeks out nations like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela for more energy and submits to Chinese dominance of critical mineral supply chains. 

Fortunately, the breadth of the anti-energy damage can be countered by the equally wide-ranging effects of pro-energy policy. Embracing an America First approach to energy policy is the best way to slash inflation and allow our nation to prosper again.

The Lower Energy Costs Act presents the opportunity to do just that. If enacted, the bill will reduce American dependence on foreign oil and energy and eliminate unnecessary barriers to domestic energy production, all while protecting the environment.

The bill takes a comprehensive approach to harness American energy production, reform our broken permitting process, strengthen our domestic and international supply chains, secure access to critical minerals, and protect the environment.

This month, the U.S. took a big step forward when the bill passed the House with bipartisan support. Unfortunately, 10 of Pennsylvania’s 17 representatives voted against American energy, including all nine of its Democratic members as well as the lone Republican representative in opposition, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of the state’s 1st Congressional District.

Several House Democrats crossed party lines and voted in favor of American energy. Still, Pennsylvania representatives — even those from more moderate districts, such as Susan Wild, Matt Cartwright and Chris Deluzio — weren’t among them. This bill was the perfect opportunity to put policy over party. Instead, they chose to vote against more jobs and lower energy costs for the hardworking Pennsylvanians they represent. Fortunately, the bill passed the House, but now it faces pressure from Democrats in the Senate and a veto threat from the White House.

As the fight for American energy moves forward, I encourage our representatives to instead think of the tremendous potential Pennsylvania has when it comes to leading and benefiting from the embrace of American energy as the foundation of a thriving economy.

Our state is blessed with incredible resources right under our feet. We have the talent and innovation to produce affordable, reliable energy here in the Keystone State cleanly and responsibly.

Our state’s energy production is vital for the entire country, and Pennsylvania workers are key to harnessing energy resources if misguided policies don’t get in the way. Pennsylvania is the second-largest net energy supplier to other states, the second-largest natural gas-producing state, and the third-largest coal and electricity-producing state. In 2019, the natural gas and oil industries alone supported nearly 500,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state, making up more than 6% of Pennsylvania’s total employment and adding $78.4 billion — nearly 10% — to Pennsylvania’s gross domestic product.

The Lower Energy Costs Act would protect and advance opportunities for Pennsylvanians by removing federal barriers to production at home instead of encouraging outsourcing to America’s adversaries. Further, the bill’s permitting reforms would spur infrastructure and energy projects across the economy, including renewables as well as traditional energy. Commonsense reforms open the door to opportunities across the board to power our progress here at home.

Bottom line: We must return to policies that create economic opportunity for Americans rather than saddling them with the sky-high costs of bureaucratic red tape and foreign dependence. America First and Pennsylvania First leaders must embrace efforts at both the national and local levels to remove the government barriers to our nation’s prosperity and energy production, like the Lower Energy Costs Act. Our leaders should start listening to their better angels and support American energy, including Pennsylvanian energy, to power a brighter future for us all.