Last week, the House of Representatives passed two pieces of legislation that would expand American energy production to create jobs, grow our economy, lower energy prices, and strengthen national security.
H.R. 2231, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, would remove the barriers put in place by the Obama Administration to block offshore drilling. Under President Obama, 85 percent of our offshore areas are off-limits to drilling -- keeping a huge amount of energy potential wrapped up in red tape. H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act, would enact the terms of an agreement signed by the Obama Administration and the government of Mexico that would open new areas for oil and natural gas production in the Gulf of Mexico. Both bills passed with bipartisan support.
Unfortunately, at the same time last week President Obama announced his energy plan that would decrease American-made energy, kill American jobs, and increase energy costs. First, he made it clear that he would not approve the popular Keystone XL Pipeline production if it significantly boosted emissions. Even though we currently have lower emission rates than we have seen since the 1990s, he then announced new regulations that would dramatically decrease the amount of carbon dioxide a power plant can emit. If he's successful, his new plan will be exceptionally hard on coal powered plants. These regulations would be applied to both newly built power plants as well as existing power plants, making building a new coal powered plant too expensive and the existing power plants obsolete. Guess this means Obama's War on Coal isn't going away anytime soon, even if the American Action Forum estimates the president's proposal will affect more than 37,000 employees and will result in much higher energy costs for American families.
Whether the president and his liberal friends want to admit it or not, the United States is the Saudi Arabia of coal. It is by far the cheapest, most readily available energy source in our country. With new technology, we are able to extract and use coal for energy production in much cleaner and safer ways than in the past.
Traditional forms of energy like coal, natural gas, and oil, are by far the most viable energy options we have right now to truly meet our energy needs. While we have seen great strides in wind power, solar power, and biofuels, they are nowhere near being able to provide the energy this country needs. Instead of acknowledging this, the president continues to push his green energy agenda -- to the detriment of the American family who continue to see their energy costs rise. The people most hurt by the president's energy plan will be low income families who already spend disproportionately more on energy than middle and higher income families.
America is blessed with a large amount of natural resources, including coal, oil, and natural gas. If we truly want to decrease our dependency on foreign oil, we must use the natural resources God has given us.