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House Republicans Are Protecting Clean Water And Unleashing American Energy Dominance

  • Rep. Zinke
House Republicans know that energy security is national security and that Americans have had enough of Biden's failed Far Left anti-American energy agenda. That is why today, we are bringing a series of bills to the floor including: H.R. 7023, the Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act, and H. Con. Res. 86, which expresses Congress's sense that a carbon tax would be detrimental to the United States economy. Both of these bills will help end Biden's unprecedented war on American energy and unleash American energy dominance.
The Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act, which was introduced by Rep. David Rouzer (R-NC), is a set of commonsense reforms to permitting processes for energy producers, the agriculture industry, builders, and water utilities under the Clean Water Act (CWA). These reforms will reduce burdensome regulatory requirements, protect against frivolous lawsuits, and increase transparency while ensuring clean water protections.
H. Con. Res. 86, which was introduced by Rep. Ryan Zinke (R-MT), expresses Congressional disapproval of Biden's planned carbon tax, citing the negative impacts that would come with implementing a carbon tax, including increasing energy costs.
FACTS ABOUT THE CREATING CONFIDENCE IN CLEAN WATER PERMITTING ACT, (Courtesy of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure):
  • The Creating Confidence in Clean Water Permitting Act establishes a more transparent process for the development of water quality criteria by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for CWA Sec. 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits by providing for additional public participation and limited judicial review.
  • The bill also provides certainty to holders of NPDES general permits by codifying the current agency practice of their reissuance and requiring two-year notice if a general permit will not be reissued.
  • This bill also clarifies the liability shield under the CWA for NPDES permit holders, such as water utilities and energy producers, by effectively codifying the EPA’s longstanding permit shield guidance. This will help protect permit holders who are acting in good faith and in accordance with their permit terms, against frivolous lawsuits for substances never contemplated during their application.
  • H.R. 7023 also prohibits the EPA from issuing a Sec. 404(c) dredge and fill permit veto before a permit application has been submitted or after a final permit has been issued by the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps).
  • The bill codifies longstanding practices around Nationwide Permits (NWPs) for Sec. 404 dredge and fill permits, providing streamlining and clarity for infrastructure and energy project permitting.
  • The bill limits the timeline for the judicial review of dredge and fill permits to 60 days and to parties who filed comments during the public comment period, which will help prevent frivolous lawsuits from delaying the permitting process.
  • This bill also requires the EPA and the Corps to initiate a process to develop implementation guidance for the definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS), in accordance with the Supreme Court’s decision in Sackett v. EPA.
  • H.R. 7023 was introduced on January 17, 2024, by Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee Chairman David Rouzer (R-NC-07). It was reported favorably out of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, as amended, on January 31, 2024, by a vote of 32 yeas to 30 nays. The bill incorporates legislation introduced by Rep. Owens (R-UT-04), Rep. Duarte (R-CA-13), Rep. Stauber (R-MN-08), and Rep. Burlison (R-MO-07).
  • A carbon tax is a Federal tax on carbon released from fossil fuels;
  • A carbon tax will increase energy prices, including the price of gasoline, electricity, natural gas,and home heating oil;
  • A carbon tax will mean that families and consumers will pay more for essentials like food, gasoline, and electricity;
  • A carbon tax will fall hardest on the poor, the elderly, and those on fixed incomes;
  • A carbon tax will lead to more jobs and businesses moving overseas;
  • A carbon tax will lead to less economic growth;
  • American families will be harmed the most from a carbon tax;
  • According to the Energy Information Administration, the share of energy consumption during 2023 in the United States that was derived from fossil fuels was approximately 80 percent;
  • A carbon tax will increase the cost of every good manufactured in the United States;
  • A carbon tax will impose disproportionate burdens on certain industries, jobs, States, and geographic regions and would further restrict the global competitiveness of the United States;
  • American ingenuity has led to innovations in energy exploration and development and has increased production of domestic energy resources on private and State-owned land which has created significant job growth and private capital investment;
  • The energy policy of the United States should encourage continued private sector innovation and development and not increase the existing tax burden on manufacturers;
  • The production of American energy resources increases the ability of the United States to maintain a competitive advantage in today’s global economy;
  • A carbon tax would reduce America’s global competitiveness and would encourage development abroad in countries that do not impose this exorbitant tax burden; and
  • The Congress and the President should focus on pro-growth solutions that encourage increased development of domestic resources.
  • On Tuesday the average national price for a gallon of gas is $3.49, the highest level since October 2023, according to AAA.
  • On Monday, the average national gas price for a gallon for the "first time since late last year, prices at the pump are now higher on a year-over-year basis." 
  • In January 2024, the Biden Administration announced they paused all pending non-FTA export permit applications for liquified natural gas (LNG) export projects, empowering countries like Russia and Iran while hurting our allies who depend on U.S. energy. 
  • The Biden Administration is kowtowing to environmentalists by having his Department of Energy undertake a review of LNG export terminals and the climate considerations for their approval.
  • By cutting off exports from the United States, Biden is pushing our allies, including the European Union and other countries, to dirtier sources.
  • Since 2012, the Energy Department commissioned three studies on the impact of gas exports focusing on the economics of the trade. Those previous reviews had consistently found gas exports benefited the public.
  • The Biden Administration has continually passed the buck by blaming domestic energy producers:
    • Biden’s regulatory assault destroys ANY incentive for domestic energy producers to invest, and it worsens energy market volatility. 
    • Most recently, Biden announced that his Administration would no longer hold court-ordered offshore oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska.
  • On day one of Joe Biden’s presidency, he launched his war on American energy when he killed the Keystone XL pipeline, which could be supplying 830,000 thousand barrels of oil from Canada to U.S. refineries.
  • In March 2020, President Trump directed the Department of Energy to purchase 30 million barrels to begin filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR).
  • Biden is responsible for the largest-ever loan from our  SPR of 180 million barrels of oil over six months.
  • Joe Biden sold nearly 40 percent of our stockpile since being elected—more than EVERY U.S. President in history COMBINED. 
    •  The SPR is meant for weather or national security emergencies not political expediency. 
  • Biden has depleted our Strategic Petroleum Reserve by over 40%, bringing it to its lowest levels since the early 1980s.  
  • Since Biden took office, his Administration and Congressional Democrats have taken over 200 actions deliberately designed to make it harder to produce energy here in America.