“We need to produce more energy of all kinds here at home.”
Our need for energy
Energy is not only critical for U.S. national security, economic well-being, and stability, but also to the folks who live in our part of Texas where distances between communities are significant and our agricultural economy depends on energy intensive equipment.
Texas leads the nation in the production of crude oil and natural gas, and our petroleum refineries account for more than one-fourth of our nation’s refining capacity. The 13th district is also home to many small and independent producers that make up the back-bone of our domestic energy supply. We also have numerous wind farms and developers of other types of energy that are an important part of the mix.
Lifting the oil export ban
As a part of the 2015 Omnibus budget bill, which I voted for, the 1973 oil export ban was lifted. Removing this ban on oil exports benefits our local oil workers and producers. Creating jobs in the oil field and lowering prices at the gas pump is simply good energy policy.
According to IHS, lifting the restrictions on exports will support nearly one million additional jobs and increase domestic crude oil prices and production. The non-partisan energy analysis company also estimates that “it [will] cut the U.S. oil import bill by an average of $67 billion per year” and increase the average disposable income per household by $391 in 2018. In addition, IHS estimates that removing the oil export restriction will reduce U.S. gasoline prices by as much as 12 cents per gallon.
Government policies and restrictions continue to make us more dependent on unreliable foreign sources of energy. We have made it too difficult to build refineries and new power plants, and we have put much of the country off-limits to energy development.
Global warming tax
There are also those in Washington who want to reduce our use of fossil fuels by any means possible, and they will certainly support higher taxes and more regulations on the energy industry making everyone’s energy bill go up.
In June of 2009, the House passed a global warming bill, also known as “cap and trade,” that will severely damage Texas’s energy industry and energy-related jobs. I voted against it. No one will be immune from this new global warming tax. These costs will be passed on to consumers in the form of higher energy prices. Additionally, most of the items we buy will be more expensive, and the costs for farmers, ranchers, and other small businesses will rise significantly. Thankfully, the Senate did not pass the bill.
A better alternative
Instead of punishing Americans into saving energy, I believe a better road for our energy future is to reduce our dependence on foreign energy resources and help the environment by having a sensible plan to increase production of all kinds of energy here at home.
Ever since I have been in Congress, I have introduced an energy bill to increase production of all kinds here at home and have done so again with the “No More Excuses Energy Act.” This bill encourages the production of all forms of domestic energy including nuclear, alternative energy and fuels, and oil and gas.
"No More Excuses" for Not Promoting Domestic Energy Production:
For too long we have grown ever more dependent on unreliable foreign sources of energy. Continuing unrest in North African and Middle Eastern countries is leading to some of the highest crude oil prices that we have seen since 2008.
We need to increase the supply of all forms of energy right here at home.
Regulations have gotten the best of us. We have made it too difficult to build refineries and new power plants, and we have put much of the country off-limits to energy development. We should be taking common sense measures to help increase the supply of energy and, with time, would also help ease the price squeeze Americans are feeling at the gas pump.
Past energy legislation I've introduced includes:
• Encourage new refinery construction by allowing tax exempt bonds to be used for construction of certain refineries and making federal lands available for refinery construction.
• Open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to responsible drilling, potentially producing nearly a million barrels per day.
• Remove the congressional moratorium on drilling for offshore oil and gas in the Eastern Gulf of Mexico.
• Remove the effective Presidential moratorium on areas that were withdrawn from leasing.
• Encourage production of onshore natural gas produced from wells more than 15,000 feet deep.
• Encourage investment in a much-needed industrial base for building new nuclear power plants by reducing the tax burden on that industry.
• Boost alternative energy development by extending the Wind Production Tax Credit (PTC) for 10 years.
• Prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act (CAA).
• Repeal the minimum capture requirement for the CO2 sequestration credit in order to help smaller facilities qualify for the credit. This credit applies to permanent storage and CO2 used as a tertiary injectant for enhanced oil or natural gas recovery.
• Make the excise tax on Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) and diesel comparable on an energy-equivalent basis and extend the Alternative Fuel Credit through 2012. This credit applies to liquefied petroleum gas, P Series Fuels, compressed or liquefied natural gas, any liquid derived from coal through the Fisher-Tropsch process, and compressed or liquefied gas derived from biomass. It does not include ethanol, methanol, or biodiesel.
To read more about energy production in Texas, click here.