Steve Scalise: We must lower energy costs for American families
Louisiana knows a thing or two about energy.
Energy production from offshore Louisiana accounts for about 20% of America’s domestically-produced oil and natural gas; our state is home to about one-fifth of the nation’s refining capacity; we export around the world more than half of the nation’s liquefied natural gas, which helps our allies abroad; and we are home to America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
American families and small businesses deserve a strong national energy strategy that embraces American-made energy through increased exploration and production, regulatory certainty, and an “all of the above” approach, which will lower the price of energy for families, reduce inflation and create real savings for all Americans.
Unfortunately, for the past two years, we’ve seen this administration wage a war on American-made energy by canceling and delaying oil and gas lease sales, blocking key infrastructure projects like the Keystone XL pipeline and pushing the extreme Green New Deal agenda. All the while Washington radicals beg hostile foreign nations to produce more energy, when the reality is that no one makes energy better or cleaner than America. President Joe Biden’s failed policies have caused sky-high inflation and drastically spiking energy costs, forcing Louisiana families to choose between filling up their gas tanks or paying their utility bills.
Last summer, Louisiana recorded its highest-ever price of gas, an average of more than $4.50 a gallon in New Orleans. Since President Biden took office, the average American is paying over 40% more for gas at the pump.
It doesn’t stop there. Families saw their utility bills jump up hundreds of dollars from $200 to $300, $400, and even $700 a month last summer. Electricity prices have gone up drastically since Biden took office.
As the new House majority leader, I wasted no time in delivering on our promise to lower energy costs and unleash American energy production, which begins right here in Louisiana.
To lower costs for families struggling, I introduced the Lower Energy Costs Act to increase domestic energy production, reform the permitting process for all industries, streamline energy infrastructure and reverse the anti-energy policies put forward by the Biden Administration.
To unleash American energy production, this package will repeal Biden’s $6 billion natural gas tax, eliminate restrictions on the import and export of natural gas and require the Department of the Interior to resume lease sales on federal land and waters — including in the Gulf of Mexico.
Importantly for Louisiana, this legislation also includes language from my BREEZE Act to increase the revenue our state receives from offshore energy production while creating a framework for revenue sharing for any future offshore wind energy development.
By raising the share our state receives from 37.5% to 50% and eliminating the annual cap on funding, the Lower Energy Costs Act will give Louisiana billions more to restore our coast and provide stronger flood protection for our communities.
I’m proud to say that with a strong bipartisan vote last week, the House passed the Lower Energy Costs Act, taking a stand against the president’s extremist, anti-American energy agenda and once again prioritizing American energy.
As we head into summer, families and small businesses in Louisiana and nationwide can’t afford to keep paying the skyrocketing cost of Biden’s anti-American energy agenda. House Republicans have delivered on our promise to lower energy costs for the American people. Now, the Senate and President Biden must listen and act on the Lower Energy Costs Act.
Let’s return to American energy independence and lower energy costs for hard-working Louisiana families.
Steve Scalise is U.S. House majority leader. He represents Louisiana's 1st Congressional District.