by ashleyklingensmith | April 18, 2023

Bill numbers, whether they be state or federal, often signal the importance of legislation to leaders of the chamber from which they originate.  This 118th Congress, Speaker Kevin McCarty made it clear that addressing ever-rising energy costs Americans have been shouldering under the Biden Administration were a priority to him and his caucus.  H.R.1, The Lower Energy Costs Act, was introduced in March by U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, LA01.  This legislation, if enacted, would make life more affordable by unleashing energy abundance today.  Here in PA, we’ve felt the squeeze in our budgets since gas began to rise at the advent of this Administration’s tenure, with a peak being reached in June 2022, setting a highest-recorded average price of $5.071/gallon of regular unleaded fuel.  As Americans for Prosperity crisscrossed the commonwealth and hosted temporary price-drop events, we heard the stories of Pennsylvanians who were literally choosing between a third meal in a day or filling up their vehicle.  Now, Kiplinger reports gas prices are once again on the rise a poised for a spring surge.  It’s imperative the U.S. Senate consider this legislation promptly and we want to equip you with the context around H.R.1’s passage through the House, some of the key attributes of the legislation and provide you with a course of action to take today to hold Senator Casey accountable for his inaction.

Forty-nine members of Congress signed on as cosponsors to H.R.1, including Pennsylvania delegation members Dan Meuser (PA09), John Joyce (PA13) and Glenn “GT” Thompson (PA15).  If you’re listening and reside in one of those three congressional districts, we encourage you to thank those members for their strong stance.  On March 30th, Speaker McCarthy passed the bill with 225 yeas, including 4 Democratic ‘yea’ votes and 1 Republican ‘nea’ vote coming from Pennsylvania’s Congressman from the 1st Congressional District, U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick.  Upon passage through the House of Representatives, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Shumer remarked the legislation was “dead on arrival” in his chamber.

The Lower Energy Costs Act provides a mechanism for lowering taxes by eliminating new taxes on natural gas infrastructure.  The bill would restore regular oil and gas leases on federal land, a needed action following the Biden Administration’s, through the Interior Department, delay of the US offshore oil and gas leasing program.  H.R.1 addresses the incredible regulatory hurdles that the federal government has erected for domestic energy exploration, production and new energy supply chains.  Permitting hurdles would be eliminated and duplicative regulations would be streamlined.  Specifically, H.R.1 right-sizes the National Environmental Policy Act, which has resulted in the often years-long delay by federal agencies to approvals critical infrastructure projects.

Americans for Prosperity led a coalition of 27 groups to urge the passage of H.R.1 through the House.  We sent a letter to the House following the bill’s introduction, signed by each of those organizations.  In it we note, “the Lower Energy Costs Act is an inflection point against the Biden administration’s war on affordable energy that is fueling inflation and harming the environment by needlessly shifting energy production to higher impact countries and technologies.”  The policies of this administration and the regulations coming out of Washington have put affordable energy out of reach and put our country at a global disadvantage. More than 30 million households face high energy burdens and spend a substantial portion of their take-home pay for electricity, heating, and fuel.  Bob Casey just doesn’t owe it to Pennsylvanians to take action, but to Americans from coast to coast.  We must each commit to holding Senator Casey accountable and demanding that he publicly support H.R.1 while encouraging Senate leadership to allow the bill to come for a vote.  Please visit, click “Take Action” and sign the letter entitled “Tell Your Senator to Unleash American Energy!”  I’m Ashley Klingensmith, State Director with Americans for Prosperity-PA.  You can connect with us on Facebook by searching @PAAFP and can follow us on Twitter by searching @AFPPennsylvania.

Ashley S. Klingensmith | State Director | Americans for Prosperity – PA

m: 412.915.1551 | e: [email protected] | @AFPPennsylvania