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Issue Overview

The United States has seen a resurgence of onshore energy production in recent years, thanks to cutting-edge technologies pioneered by the American oil and natural gas industry. This has brought about an entirely new energy paradigm, jumpstarting our nation’s economy and strengthening our global presence abroad. Right now, the United States is set to be the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world, reducing our dependency on unstable and hostile countries for our energy needs. In 2005, about 60 percent of the petroleum consumed by the United States was imported from foreign countries. In 2014, that number fell to 27 percent. This energy renaissance has also lowered energy prices for the American people, allowing them to save more and spend more money supporting their families.

However, heavy-handed regulations from the Obama Administration threaten this energy renaissance. Currently, the vast majority of production—83%—is on state and private lands, where the federal government has less control. The effect of federal policies, regulations and lengthy permitting processes is to discourage producers from exploring on federal land, which means much lower revenues for the American taxpayers and stunted growth for local economies.

Additionally, the nation’s energy infrastructure lags far behind recent development gains. The Committee is developing solutions to expand responsible energy development opportunities and bridge America’s energy infrastructure gap.

Key Legislation

H.R. 2295 – National Energy Security Corridors Act

Introduced by Rep. Thomas MacArthur (R-NJ), H.R. 2295 establishes National Energy Security Corridors and streamlines the rights-of-way approval process for natural gas pipelines across federal lands. The bill answers the President’s call for an updated infrastructure that meets our nation’s energy supply, including the designation of energy corridors across the U.S. It supports job creation, safe transportation of important energy resources, and lower costs for consumers, especially those on the East Coast.

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H.R. 2358 – Electricity Reliability and Forest Protection Act

Introduced by Reps. Ryan Zinke (R-MT) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR), H.R. 2358 improves the safety and reliability of transmission and distribution of electricity across federal lands. Currently, utility crews must receive Congressional approval before performing regular maintenance or the repairing of damaged power lines. When a right-of-way is not properly maintained, a tree can grow into or fall on to a power line, causing fires and a domino effect of electricity blackouts. The bill brings federal consistency, safety, and accountability to how power lines are protected from tree hazards, thereby helping with grid reliability and stabilizing electricity rates.

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Oversight Hearing on ESA Consultation Impediments to Economic and Infrastructure Development
Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations | 1324 Longworth House Office Building Washington D.C. 20515
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