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Public Statements

Issue Position: Energy

Issue Position

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Values

Supports use of all sources of American energy in order to lower prices at the pump and decrease our dependence on foreign oil. Over the past decade, domestic oil consumption has increased by 14 percent, while domestic production has fallen by 17 percent.

Believes a strong national energy policy is an essential component to a thriving economy and the creation of jobs. Coal, natural gas, nuclear, wind, solar, hydro-power, domestic oil, and biomass all may play a critical role in America's energy future.

Supports common sense policies that safeguard our ability to have clean air and clean water. However, excessive and misguided regulations can threaten the livelihoods of hardworking American families and have the potential to raise energy costs for every American. In the midst of the worst economic downturn in decades, we should not jeopardize thousands of jobs while decreasing our access to American energy.

Actions

Introduced the EPA Regulatory Relief Act of 2011 (H.R. 2250) in response to four interrelated, highly complex, and data-intensive rules setting new standards for more than 200,000 non-utility boilers, process heaters, and incinerators that were published by the EPA. This legislation would direct the EPA to develop achievable standards for boilers, process heaters, and incinerators and extends compliance deadlines to allow facilities time to comply. By the EPA's own estimates, compliance with its Boiler MACT rules will impose $5.8 billion in up-front capital costs, and impose new costs of $2.2 billion annually. However, the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners estimates that the capital costs alone of the final rules could potentially exceed $14 billion and could put 230,000 jobs at risk, including 10,000 in Virginia. H.R. 2250 passed the House of Representatives on October 13, 2011, by a bipartisan vote of 275-142, and is awaiting action in the Senate. Companion legislation (S. 1392) already exists in the Senate and has bipartisan support.

Introduced the American Alternative Fuels Act (H.R. 2036), which would take major strides in expanding America's energy future. This legislation would break down the barriers to domestic alternative fuels -- including fuels derived from coal, biomass, algae, and waste. The bill permits the federal government to buy alternative fuels, increases transparency in the Loan Guarantee Program, promotes algae as a renewable fuel, and supports synthetic natural gas production. Additionally, H.R. 2036 allows the Department of Defense to enter into long-term contracts for purchasing alternative fuels.

Supports the VA Energy Act (H.R. 1372), which would allow for the exploration of natural gas and crude oil in Virginia's waters of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) no later than one year after passage of this legislation. Some estimates project that development of Virginia's OCS will create over 2,500 jobs on a yearly basis.

Supports the Mining Jobs Protection Act (H.R. 960), which would establish a fair process for applicants to obtain a mining permit from the EPA.

Specifically, the bill would require the EPA to process mining permits within 60 days -- giving applicants the certainty they need to do business.
Supports the Ensuring Affordable Energy Act (H.R. 153), which would prohibit federal funding for the EPA to be used to implement or enforce a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases.

Supports the North American-Made Energy Security Act (H.R. 1938), which would require the President to consult with federal agencies responsible for overseeing the construction and maintenance of the Keystone XL pipeline in order to ensure that all necessary actions are taken on an expedited schedule. The Keystone XL pipeline would bring 700,000 barrels of Canadian oil per day to the market and is expected to create thousands of American jobs. Similar provisions to fast track the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline were included in the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 (H.R. 3756), which passed both chambers unanimously and was signed into law on December 23, 2011.

Supports the Reversing President Obama's Offshore Moratorium Act (H.R. 1231), which would effectively end the moratorium on domestic offshore drilling by requiring the President to move forward with a five-year plan to drill in offshore areas containing the highest concentrations of oil and natural gas resources. This bill passed the House of Representatives with my support by a vote of 243-179 on May 12, 2011.

Member of the Congressional Coal Caucus and member of the Congressional Natural Gas Caucus.


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