The House Natural Resources Committee Democrats released a report today chronicling the energy votes in the 112th House of Representatives and asserting that House leadership has “declared war on clean energy” and pursued an “oil-above-all agenda.”
A quick review of NAM Key Votes in the 112th House tells a different story. Our scorecard, available here, includes House votes on 17 energy-related bills. And to be sure, some of these are oil-related–such as H.R. 1229, a bill that prevents excessive delays in oil and gas permit applications, or H.R. 1938, a bill that would approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.
But many of the House energy bills we designated as Key Manufacturing Votes applied to the many other types of energy producers and users in this country. For instance, we scored H.R. 4402, the “Critical Minerals Production Act,” a bill that would encourage development of rare earth elements and critical minerals, many of which are required for clean energy projects and green technologies. We scored an amendment by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA) which would have streamlined the permitting process to allow expedited development of renewable energy projects. We also scored bills which would have eased burdens created by overly strict EPA regulations on industrial boilers, cement plants, the coal industry, and any energy project that needs to get a Clean Water Act permit.
Did we agree with every single energy bill the 112th House voted on? Of course not. But House leadership made a very clear decision to tackle energy policy in 2011 and 2012, and we’re glad they did. We wish the Senate would have debated at least a fraction of the energy bills passed by the House these past two years. Manufacturers need our leaders to commit to a true “all of the above” energy policy, which will create jobs and keep us competitive in the global marketplace.
Ross Eisenberg is vice president of energy and resources policy, National Association of Manufacturers.