In positive news for Southwestern Pennsylvania's energy economy, a new report says the United States will become the world's top energy producer before 2020 provided we continue on our current path and encourage additional safe exploration of our resources. "North America is at the forefront of a sweeping transformation in oil and gas production that will affect all regions of the world," stated the International Energy Agency (IEA) in its annual World Energy Outlook report.
Right now, the United States imports approximately half the petroleum fuel it consumes, but the IEA predicts our nation will become "all but self-sufficient" by 2035.
With the right policies in place, North America can lessen reliance on foreign oil, grow our economy and create jobs. Time and again, Congressman Murphy has championed an "all-of-the-above" energy policy that takes full advantage of our resources in oil, natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear.
In fact, in an effort to increase Southwestern Pennsylvania's energy production while investing in our aging roads, bridges, highways and tunnels, Rep. Murphy introduced the bipartisan "Infrastructure Jobs and Energy Independence Act' (H.R. 1861), which would fund critical construction projects by safely expanding offshore energy exploration to generate between $2.2 and $3.7 trillion in new federal revenues and $8 trillion in economic output.
Murphy's bill is estimated to create more than 1.2 million new jobs annually in energy production, and thousands of new jobs in highway construction. The Federal Highway Administration estimates that for every $1.25 billion investment in infrastructure, nearly 35,000 additional jobs are supported in the construction, materials, engineering and service industries.
On top of investing in America's infrastructure, Murphy's bill charts a course for developing new clean-coal and nuclear power plants -- work that would start right here in Southwestern Pennsylvania. To learn more about Murphy's bill, click here.
Most recently, Murphy also supported the House-passed "Stop The War on Coal Act' (H.R. 3409) which would stop the EPA from issuing unnecessary job-crushing regulations on Pennsylvania's critical energy sector. Perhaps most importantly, the bill prohibits the Secretary of the Interior from issuing new rules or regulations that adversely impact mining jobs and the economy; cause a reduction in coal revenue through regulation of coal mining; reduce the amount of coal available for domestic consumption or export; designate any area as unsuitable for surface coal mining and reclamation operations; or expose the U.S. to liability for taking the value of privately owned coal through regulation.
Following passage in the House of Representatives, H.R. 3409 now awaits action in the Senate, where Murphy urged his colleagues to offer bipartisan support.