House GOP unveiling agenda to boost oil, gas, nuclear

Source: Hannah Hess, E&E reporter • Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2016

House Republicans will roll out a regulatory approach today that “enhances America’s energy abundance,” as part of a broader legislative agenda for the GOP to run on this fall and pursue under a Donald Trump White House.

The plan calls for giving a green light to the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada, streamlining the approval process for hydropower (see related story) and natural gas projects, and repealing all climate change regulations under U.S. EPA’s Clean Air Act.

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) will join Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop (R-Utah) and other caucus leaders in front of the Department of Labor headquarters this afternoon to introduce the plan developed by Ryan’s task force on reducing regulatory burdens. The panel includes nine standing committee chairmen tasked with building a “more modern and transparent regulatory system” (E&E Daily, March 2).

“The only thing standing between the nation’s abundant domestic energy and the consumers and businesses that need it is a long list of federal regulations,” according to the lawmakers, who say they want meaningful judicial review of rules developed by federal agencies.

Reflecting a regulatory agenda developed earlier this year by the conservative Republican Study Committee, the plan calls for streamlining approval of big energy projects (E&ENews PM, April 22).

On nuclear energy, Republican leaders say the Nuclear Regulatory Commission must rigorously continue its “Project AIM 2020,” and “reassert discipline in the regulatory process to properly align NRC’s resources with its workload.”

In response to concerns about global warming, the plan calls for passage of H.R. 3880, the “Stopping EPA Overreach Act” introduced by Rep. Gary Palmer (R-Ala.). The bill would repeal all climate change regulations under the Clean Air Act.

The Obama administration’s Clean Water Rule is also targeted for withdrawal, along with EPA restrictions on brick kilns.

Republicans say the “extreme view” that America should “keep it in the ground” is finding voice through Obama administration regulations related to fossil fuels. They suggest streamlining federal wildlife management by rewriting the National Environmental Policy Act to eliminate delays, unnecessary duplication and “frivolous litigation.”

According to Ryan’s office, issues included in the plan represent areas of common ground the speaker has with Trump. Ryan is confident these plans would pass in 2017 and be signed into law under a President Trump.