HEAT's Domestic Energy and Jobs Act Will Make Energy More Affordable
The House Energy Action Team (HEAT) is ready to bring their Domestic Energy and Jobs Act to the floor tomorrow. The package includes several pieces of popular legislation aiming to increase access to domestic fossil resources, streamline the permitting of exploration operations, steel the Strategic Petroleum Reserve against political exploitation, reign in the high costs of EPA regulations, and ultimately create high-paying jobs in a growing domestic industry. In conjunction with other policies, this helps build a truly all-of-the-above approach to American energy.
In characteristically hyperbolic language, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA) joined forces yesterday to paint this legislation as part of a plan to “cripple the economy,” a “Trojan Horse” that hurts consumers, “open[s] up public lands to being raped,” and keeps “dirty gasoline on the market.” Similar arguments are repeatedly trotted out by the left to galvanize support from their environmental base against one of our most promising areas of growth in the current economy.
The fact of the matter is that our domestic energy industry nothing to demonize. Even President Obama, however wrongly, takes credit for good news in domestic production. Despite irrationality on the left, producing more domestic energy can help reduce prices, and creates large amounts of jobs and wealth that make prices we can’t change – like gasoline – easier to afford.
Sure, we’re hamstrung in reducing prices for gasoline set on the global market. But we’re not limited in opportunities to create the jobs and income that adjusting to high oil prices demands. As AAF has explained previously, if the Administration’s recklessly limited domestic energy policy were replaced by a pro-development alternative that included opening lands for drilling, easing permitting requirements, minimizing the impact of federal regulation, and so on – aims embraced by HEAT – by 2015, we could produce 1.27 million more barrels of oil more per day, have more than 650,000 additional jobs, send $36 billion more to the general treasury, and increase salaries by $100 billion. Roll all that sacrificed wealth into a temporary tax credit, and the de facto impact is gasoline nearly $2 cheaper.
The opposition points out that such policies would increase the profits of oil companies, an industry openly vilified by the left. It is foolish and short-sighted to sacrifice all the potential of domestic job and wealth creation to prevent one industry from seeing increased profits. If there’s any party with a plan to “cripple the economy,” it’s the one willing to sacrifice the country to cripple a healthy, job-creating industry.