By Congressman Bob Latta
trouble abroad has typically led to greater pain at the pump, Americans
have experienced relatively stable gas prices over the past few months
despite foreign crises. With the national average price for regular
gasoline down more than 10 cents from last month, today’s fuel prices
are both a contradiction of the past four decades’ trends and an example
of the benefits that can result from increased domestic energy
American innovation in advanced energy development
technologies has unleashed an abundance of domestic energy resources. In
2013, U.S. energy production rose more than the combined increases in
the rest of the world to reach its highest level in 24 years. This is
why the United States is now the number one producer of both oil and
natural gas in the world.
This energy renaissance is not only
strengthening North American energy security as domestic resources
replace imports from hostile environments in Middle Eastern countries,
but it is also fueling expansive job growth throughout the energy
industry. While the energy industry supports nearly 10 million American
jobs today, that number is expected to grow by 3 million by 2020. For
Ohio’s Fifth Congressional District, this energy renaissance has already
increased local business’s global competiveness, resulting in expanded
operations and new jobs at home.
While President Obama likes to
take credit for this positive growth, the energy boom has occurred
despite his many efforts to suppress expanded development and
innovation. His administrative agencies have put forward costly
regulations intended to diminish energy exploration on federal lands and
created unnecessary obstacles for developing critical energy
Over the past five years, almost all of the U.S.
energy growth has occurred on state and privately owned lands. In fact,
U.S. crude oil production has decreased by 6 percent on federal lands,
while production on state and privately owned lands has increased by 61
percent. Jobs boosting projects, like the Keystone XL Pipeline, are
continually subject to a barrage of unjustified delays. In addition,
even with plans to allow for seismic testing in the Atlantic, the
President continues to block 85 percent of U.S. offshore areas from
energy development opportunities.
While energy manufacturers,
producers and end users have just begun to feel the benefits of the
energy renaissance, these benefits would be much greater if the
President moved away from his anti-development agenda and toward a
pro-growth energy policy where the United States could take better
advantage of our vast energy resources. Unfortunately, the
Administration has yet to embrace our new energy landscape and continues
to push an agenda rife with market-distorting principals and
bureaucratic red tape.
These actions undermine energy employment
potential and guarantee a continued dependence on oil from hostile,
foreign regions. They also guarantee that while energy prices have
remained stable, they will also remain high.
To address this, the
U.S. House of Representatives recently passed three important pieces of
legislation that lay the groundwork for a national energy strategy that
would help the United States take better advantage of its abundant,
domestic energy resources, promote North American energy independence,
curb gas prices and create jobs.
First, H.R. 4899, the Lowering
Gasoline Prices to Fuel an America that Works Act, would allow the
United States to responsibly expand production of its own energy
In addition, H.R. 6, the Domestic Prosperity &
Global Freedom Act, would bring certainty to the U.S. Department of
Energy’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) export approval process, increasing
natural gas production and setting a timeframe by which the agency must
act on an application to export LNG to our allies. It is also estimated
that the legislation will bring more than 30,000 jobs to Ohio by 2035.
H.R. 3301, the North American Energy Infrastructure Act, would help
build the energy infrastructure needed to fully enhance our domestic
production, transport and use.
In addition to the passage of these
three bills, I have also introduced H.R. 3033, the Energy Security and
Employment Act, to immediately curb increased gas prices and create
downward pressure on the cost of oil by allowing America to take
advantage of its vast domestic oil resources, spurring job growth and
Together, this legislation will foster an
all-of-the-above energy strategy that will make energy more affordable,
bolster our energy security and create American jobs. Now is the time to
take advantage of our energy resources and unleash our energy potential
by establishing the United States as a global energy leader – locking
in domestic prosperity for our nation and Ohio.