Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728)
Status: Passed the House on November 20, 2013 with a bipartisan vote of 235-187. Awaits consideration by the Senate.
November 20, 2013 -
The Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act (H.R. 2728), introduced by Rep. Bill Flores (R-TX) and Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), would protect American jobs and American energy production by limiting the Obama Administration’s ability to impose duplicative federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing.
This bipartisan bill prohibits the Interior Department from enforcing federal hydraulic fracturing regulations in any state that already has regulations and recognizes states’ authority to regulate this type of activity.
New hydraulic fracturing technology represents one of the greatest opportunities for strengthening our Nation’s energy security and spurring economic growth.
According to a study by IHS, shale oil and natural gas activity contributed over 1.7 million jobs in 2012 and will increase by over 45% to almost 2.5 million jobs in 2015. 500,000 non-oil and natural gas manufacturing jobs are supported by shale oil and natural gas. By 2015, the United States will be the world's leading energy producer according to IEA's World Energy Outlook.
Shale oil and natural gas activities saved families $100 per month in 2012 in the form of lower energy bills and lower costs for other goods and services. According to PwC, U.S. manufacturers are collectively saving $11.6 billion annually to lower natural gas prices.
The Obama Administration’s proposed federal regulations on hydraulic fracturing would cost American jobs, decrease American energy production, increase energy prices, and harm economic growth. They would add duplicative, costly and unnecessary layers of red tape. According to a study by John Dunham & Associates, the proposed regulation would cost at least $345 million annually.
States have safely and successfully regulated hydraulic fracturing for over 60 years and should have the right to continue to regulate this activity within their state.
This bill does not prevent the federal government from implementing baseline standards in states where none exist. It simply prevents the federal government from wasting time and resources imposing duplicative red tape that will only stifle energy production and job creation.
The proposed federal regulations represent a solution in search of a problem. Even the Obama Administration has admitted that there has never been one example of harm to human health or ground water contamination caused by hydraulic fracturing.
States are able to carefully craft environmentally responsible regulations to meet the unique geologic and hydrologic needs of their states. Imposing a ‘one size fits all’ regulatory structure is both unnecessary and simply will not work.
Total federal natural gas production is down 21% on federal lands since President Obama took office due to burdensome regulations and lengthy permitting times. The Obama Administration’s proposed hydraulic fracturing regulations would make it worse. Meanwhile, energy development on state and private lands, not under federal regulations, has flourished. Currently, 93% of shale wells are located on state and private lands.
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