Rep. Fred Upton: House Taking New Approach on Energy

Saturday, 21 Jun 2014 09:26 AM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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The House will take up legislation next week to maximize America's energy resources, taking steps that could "help save money for American families, create the new jobs and industries that we want, and strengthen our position across the globe," says House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton.

"Energy is at the core of American life," said Upton, R-Mich., in Saturday's GOP weekly address.

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"It supports jobs and our economy, and it affects everything from the price at the pump and the monthly electric bill to the cost of groceries – all of the things that Americans need to make ends meet."

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It has been believed for years that the country's energy needs could be met only through increasing foreign dependence, Upton said, which has pushed gas prices higher and caused working families to struggle just to fill their vehicles' tanks to drive to work.

The House will vote on several bills this week to make the most of America's energy capabilities, said Upton, by "building pipelines and transmission lines to connect our energy abundance to consumers, and by using our energy strength to fight back against hostile nations who use their resources to hold the rest of the world hostage."

There have already been steps taken to approve major energy projects, cut the red tape keeping hydropower plants from being built, to modernize permitting, and to keep American coal in the energy plan.

"We are offering more predictable regulations that encourage investment, lower prices, and create jobs here at home," said Upton. "We're making targeted energy efficiency reforms, which will also help reduce costs and eliminate waste. And we're focusing on the safety and reliability of the electrical grid to protect against everything from security threats to brownouts and blackouts. We're working to keep nuclear power safe and sustainable for the long-term."

The "all-of-the-above" energy strategy will join fossil and renewable fuels, expanded production, and conservation, to "help save money for American families, create the new jobs and industries that we want, and strengthen our position across the globe."

The House plan is "very different" than President Barack Obama's agenda, said Upton.

"His recently announced EPA rules for power plants is going to make it harder to use all of our American resources, and could well force states to ration energy, which certainly is going to make it more expensive to power our homes and factories," said Upton. "His record of energy development on federal lands remains dismal."

Further, Upton expects that Obama will reject the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline, which would replace oil dependence from hostile parts of the world like Venezuela and the Middle East and replace the energy supply from Canada.

"Instead, the project is in regulatory purgatory, and America waits and waits," said Upton.
But the country can do better, he insisted.

"The U.S. has entered an era of energy abundance, and now we need the architecture —  the infrastructure and policies —  to support it, he said. "That’s exactly what Republicans are working to deliver."

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