Today the Republican House Leadership introduced “The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act” which is a package of seven bills that have previously been introduced. This legislation is aimed to provide our country with an energy policy, something which has been missing the past few years.
This package of bills furthers the dual goals of creating jobs while increasing access to domestic energy supplies. The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act: provides important safeguards against overuse of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, requires a full review of costs and benefits of regulations that impact gasoline prices and provides a much needed regulatory pause until a study is complete, and requires the federal government to adopt a truly “all of the above” energy strategy as oppose to the current “some of the above” strategy we currently have.
Additionally, the legislation would require our federal land managers to set energy production goals on federal lands and to utilize all of our resources. This bill would provide the Secretary of Interior with some structure in terms of how much land and the time frames under which they should be released. It would also give the Secretary additional resources to meet these time frames and also reduce the red tape involved in the various leasing programs. Finally, it would authorize the Secretary to conduct internet-based auction for onshore leases which would help modernize the bidding process.
The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act would be a good first step toward an energy policy that lets the market, rather than the federal government, decide how we use energy.For manufacturers to grow, remain competitive and to create jobs we must have the ability to utilize all of our resources and to let market forces work.
Manufacturers use one third of the energy in this country. We understand how important energy is to our ability to create jobs and compete. The energy sector has the ability to create thousands of good paying jobs and provide manufacturers with the energy they need to create products that this county and the world need.
We need our government to work with us and not against us in this effort. Let’s start the formulation of an energy policy now and pass The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act. It is just a start but it is a start that is overdue.
Chip Yost is assistant vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.