Americans want, need, and deserve real energy solutions that will provide affordable energy for years to come and that will also reduce our dependence on foreign oil and unstable countries.
Instead of Washington imposing a cap-and-trade scheme on our energy, I say we need Washington to stand out of the way and let the free markets unleash America’s full energy potential. In order to do that, it’s important that the U.S. maintains an "all of the above" energy plan with the ultimate goal of energy independence. Our policy should support increased energy production right here at home from a variety of sources that will reduce our reliance on foreign sources. That’s why I support efforts like the Keystone Pipeline and expanded offshore drilling. These are much-needed projects that will create jobs and help America become less dependent on foreign energy.
To learn more about my efforts on energy issues, click on a bullet to jump down to that portion of the page:
Odds are that you’ve heard of the Keystone Pipeline (its full name is the TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Project). And I, along with a majority of Americans, support this project for many reasons. Here are just a few: it would help create roughly 20,000 new jobs, provide a minimum $7 billion boost to our economy, and improve our domestic energy infrastructure by bringing nearly one million barrels of Canadian crude oil to U.S. refineries per day when fully constructed. With Keystone, we would have greater access to energy and America would take an important step forward towards energy independence…not to mention the fact that we would decrease our reliance on unfriendly foreign nations for resources.
What’s more, the State Department released a report that found there would be minimal environmental impact in the surrounding areas and no significant climate effects. And the National Academy of Sciences released a study confirming the safety of the pipeline.
Unfortunately, President Obama denied the Keystone permit on January 18th, 2012 and again on November 6th, 2015. That hasn’t stopped me, though. I have voted in support of the Keystone Pipeline several times in the House, and the newly elected Republican Senate finally joined us and passed a Keystone Pipeline bill in January 2015. But President Obama again refused to listen to the American people and he vetoed the pro-energy, pro-jobs bill. While this is frustrating, you can rest assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues to see that the Keystone Pipeline – and all the affordable energy and jobs that come with it – becomes a reality.
Hydraulic fracturing, commonly referred to as fracking, is the process of injecting a pressurized fluid deep into rock layers to release hydrocarbon deposits below the surface. This technology has helped energy producers to harness vast reserves of oil and gas across America that were previously difficult or impossible to extract. Furthermore, this technology has created many high-paying jobs right here in Texas and has also helped to lower energy costs for all Americans.
I understand that hydraulic fracturing can be controversial among folks with concerns about water contamination. I agree that protecting the environment so we all have clean air to breathe and fresh, safe water to drink is a priority. Fortunately, there is little to no evidence of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing. In fact, earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a study that concluded that hydraulic fracturing does not impact drinking water resources. Furthermore, President Obama’s own Energy Secretary, Ernest Moniz, and former EPA Administrator, Lisa Jackson, are both on record saying that there have been zero cases of groundwater contamination from hydraulic fracturing.
Rest assured that I stand committed to promoting safe American energy that creates jobs at home and that spurs our economy.
As you may know, over the last few years the EPA has proposed a slew of economically damaging regulations. Now first let me say that I believe in being good stewards of our environment, and I feel that great strides have been made over the last few decades to see to its improvement. In fact, air today is far less polluted than it was several decades ago. However, despite this progress, we have seen the EPA in recent years issuing out-of-control regulations that will hurt U.S. economic competitiveness, kill American jobs, and weaken electric reliability.
To address the EPA’s regulatory abuse, I am proud to cosponsor bills like H.R. 3880, the Stopping EPA Overreach Act, to prevent EPA from overstepping its authority and to re-exert Congress’s role to reign in the EPA.
I fundamentally believe that the demand for sources of energy should be purely marke- driven and not forced through a federal mandate like the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), which mandates the blending of ethanol into the gasoline supply. Not only is ethanol bad for many folks cars, the mandated use of this fuel has also been blamed for driving up the cost of food by diverting ingredients like corn and sugar for fuel. I do not believe the federal government should decide what form of energy Americans use. Americans are more than capable of choosing what best fits their energy needs, and if ethanol is deemed to be a viable energy source, then it should be because Americans demand it and not because the federal government mandates its use. That’s why I am a cosponsor of H.R. 703, the Renewable Fuel Standard Elimination Act.
To rein in the EPA, in April 2015 I introduced H.R. 2111, the Wasteful EPA Programs Elimination Act. This bill would eliminate 13 wasteful programs at the EPA and it would also force the agency to downsize and sell off all of its underutilized properties. The conservative Heritage Foundation supports my legislation and has estimated that my bill would save taxpayers over $7.5 billion!
In 2014, the EPA proposed new emission rules for power plants, which President Obama has named his “Clean Power Plan.” I am deeply concerned that this rule would have a major impact on electric reliability and affordability in Texas. According to a report by Texas’s electric grid operator, ERCOT, recent EPA regulations will cause energy costs for consumers to increase by 20% over the next five years. ERCOT has also said that there could be serious challenges to the management of the grid in Texas and even the possibility of brown-outs in Texas during the hot summer months if something isn’t done. In response, I have cosponsored many bills that exert Congress’s authority to put a stop to the EPA’s Clean Power Plan, including:
President Obama’s Clean Power Plan is bad news for Texans, and you can rest assured that I will continue my work to rein in the EPA.
(Map of coal plants in North Texas)
For an interactive map of Texas’ energy profile, CLICK HERE.