This is the ninth post in our series calling out Senate Democrats for saying “no” to jobs bill passed by House Republicans. Read about other bills #StuckInTheSenate at speaker.gov/jobs.
Problem: President Obama may like to talk about an “all-of-the-above” approach to energy production, but that’s a sham that doesn’t stand up to the facts. In April, the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service released a report showing that while natural gas production on non-federal lands has surged by 33 percent, production on federal lands has dropped by 28 percent. Moreover, natural gas leases on federal lands are at the lowest in more than a decade.
That means fewer good-paying jobs and less access to affordable energy, especially during harsh winters. But instead of looking out for American workers and families, the Obama administration appears to be more interested in doing the bidding of extreme environmental activists – even with the average price of residential electricity rising “at the highest rate in five years.”
Our natural gas production also has the potential to strengthen America on the world stage and help our allies. Many of those in Central and Eastern Europe depend on Russia for their natural gas, and several have urged America to increase exports to help weaken Putin’s hand. Despite bipartisan support for this, the Obama administration has overseen a backlog of more than two dozen liquefied natural gas export applications. Speaker Boehner has called on the president to end this de facto ban again and again and again.
Our Solution: In November 2013, the House passed the Natural Gas Pipeline Permitting Reform Act (H.R. 1900) with the support of 26 Democrats and the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728) with the support of 12 Democrats.
In June of this year, the House passed the Domestic Prosperity and Global Freedom Act (H.R. 6) with the support of 46 Democrats, and the Lowering Gas Prices to Fuel an America That Works Act (H.R. 4899) with the support of 10 Democrats.
These bills would accelerate the development of critical energy infrastructure, stop Washington bureaucrats from imposing duplicative federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing, expedite the approval of liquefied natural gas export applications, and increase American energy production.
Senate Inaction: All four of these jobs bills are gathering dust on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s desk. Although Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy called this week for more gas pipelines, Senate Democrats plan to focus this month on their quixotic and futile effort to roll back Americans’ First Amendment rights.
Consequences: While Russia strikes a deal with China to build a “mega-pipeline,” invades Ukraine, and bullies other countries, Americans are paying more for just about everything and struggling through the worst economic “recovery” for jobs ever. We can do better.
Check out the previous post in this series, #StuckInTheSenate: Stopping the War on Coal, Saving Jobs.