An Analysis of the Lower Energy Costs Act

March 29, 2023

H.R. 1 looks to secure U.S. energy and minerals by slashing red tape

By George P. Bush and Grant Dever
Read the entire post at FREOPP

The Biden Administration’s energy agenda has sought to move the United States away from its historical reliance on fossil fuels, which provided 60.2 percent of the nation’s total energy use in 2022. Tragically, the Biden team has failed to account for the central role oil, natural gas, and nuclear-powered energy play in securing our nation’s prosperity and security. The conflict in Ukraine shocked the energy sector and induced President Biden to look for energy in all the wrong places, like Venezuela. Although domestic renewable energy production increased modestly, there is no currently reliable, scalable, and exploitable substitute for non-renewable sources. Not surprisingly, Americans endured a spike in energy prices these last two years, with price increases taking more than $180 per month out of the average family’s budget, or roughly five percent of the average monthly household income.

With supply chains still recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and American families and businesses continuing to struggle with inflated energy and commodity prices, the House Republican majority has introduced a package of bills to resolve policies that have undermined U.S. national and energy security. Signaling that fixing energy policy will be its top priority, the newly elected House majority made the Lower Energy Costs Act its first order of legislative business by designating it as H.R. 1, the bill number traditionally reserved for the majority party’s most important agenda item. The proposed legislation is a compendium of energy reforms originating in three House committees: Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure. Republican leaders have reserved this entire week to debate and ultimately approve the package.

Below, we evaluate the merits of the Lower Energy Costs Act, which would reform land leasing, overhaul environmental protections that strictly limit resource extraction, and streamline the regulatory approval process for mineral resource extraction and nuclear energy development.