Unleashing American Energy

Floor Speech

Date: March 28, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HILL. Mr. Speaker, this week, the House has taken two important steps regarding our strategic competition with the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP.

And Mr. Speaker, those steps on this House Floor were overwhelmingly bipartisan.

First, we created a select committee on the strategic competition between the United States and the CCP.

Our vision of an integrated, open, free world where people can celebrate their religion, people can travel, people can trade, and that strategic competition presses the western values of Europe, The United States with the more narrow authoritarian view of the Chinese Communist Party.

Secondly, we prevented oil being released from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) and that being sold to Communist China.

And today, over 320 Members of this body agreed with that, by voting yes on H.R. 22.

Now, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has played an important role in U.S. energy and national security policy for four decades.

It was created in response to the Arab oil embargo in the early 1970s, which resulted in the tripling of oil prices at the time.

Since that time, the SPR has remained a backstop for the United States in case of oil supply disruption.

And Mr. Speaker, those on the other side of the aisle talked about America becoming the largest exporting nation in the world and somehow that is a bad thing.

And that we freed our ability to export oil and gas outside the U.S. as if that were a bad thing.

It's not.

But they are two completely different issues.

The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is there for an emergency affecting the United States, our citizens, our households, our industry, principally in case of a Gulf hurricane or a disruption in a pipeline or in some other aspect of oil and gas disruption from war or an accident somewhere in the world.

It's not meant to be supplying oil per say to everybody besides the United States.

In just the last year, President Biden has released 180 million barrels of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, bringing it down to a 1985 level.

A four-decade low.

This is not smart economic policy or energy policy in this country.

And in fact, Mr. Speaker, over 1 million barrels went to a Chinese affiliated company--at the same time China is reportedly holding its own crude reserve of over 900 million barrels.

So look, anyone with realistic knowledge and expectations in and around the debate about climate change or energy policy knows that this administration's energy policies have hurt American families, put our economy at risk, while at the same time weakening the globe's interest in fighting against climate change.

President Biden's failed policies to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline, deny permits, discourage new drilling, discourage new pipeline construction, and through his bank and securities, Environmental, Social, Governance policies, so called ``ESG policies'' that too has discouraged badly needed capital investment to go to our energy industry and have weakened American global leadership and our strategic benefit, as referenced by my friends on the other side of the aisle, of energy independence.

President Biden has weakened our energy independence.

Instead, the Biden Administration has doubled down, even tripled down, on these policies that have not only raise the costs on every American, but do nothing in the long run to impact climate change.

While President Biden's nanny state regulators consider outlawing your gas stove in your home, or in your kitchen, or your restaurant, Republicans on this House Floor began their first step at unleashing an ``all of the above'' energy strategy.

So we have to let that sink in, that a federal regulator actually considered a serious policy proposal of banning you from having a gas stove in your home or in your restaurant.

I mean everyone in America was shaking their heads this week with the preposterous nature of that new idea from the Biden Administration.

Republicans believe in an ``all of the above'' strategy which benefits America and benefits the globe, and we must continue to invest in order to make it through a full global transition.

First, we have to keep investing in natural gas.

We have natural gas fields across our Nation, from the West Coast to the East Coast, in the heart of Pennsylvania, and of course, in the heart of New York State, where New York State's Democratic leadership refuses to let that be brought online.

Let that be developed benefiting New York tax base, New York workers, New York consumers, and that gas field just in Pennsylvania and New York alone, Mr. Speaker, some believe is larger and more lucrative than the largest gas field that we know of in Qatar in the Persian Gulf.

Yet we will never see a pipeline from Pennsylvania to East Coast ports under this administration, and possibly under any other future Democratic leadership.

If the war in Ukraine showed Europe and the World anything, it's that Russia cannot be trusted any longer--if they ever were--to be a reliable source to Europe for their energy consumption needs.

The United States stands ready to export more Liquified Natural Gas to Europe, but the pipelines and other infrastructure don't fully exist in this country in order to have that impact to help our allies and partners in Europe and in Asia in the short run.

We need to make that investment.

Second, I have a solution that Democrats should meet all of their objects for world energy reliance, and consistent with their climate objectives.

It's clean, it's renewable, and we can export it to developing nations.

It's nuclear energy.

Yet, International Financial Institutions like the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) will not or are very reluctant to finance any nuclear power expansion in Europe.

And yet the countries of central Europe are demanding it.

They want that energy diversity, they want that ``all of the above'' energy strategy.

And yet the EBRD, which the United States is a shareholder, turns a blind eye to clean, renewable, dependable nuclear energy.

The EBRD insists of financing green energy projects to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars and yet ignores this common-sense ``all of the above'' strategy.

Today's reactor designs are not the plants of the yester-year.

They are not the plants of Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania or Chernobyl.

They are safe, reliable, and for many the top concern has been ``what do we do with nuclear waste?''

Research in recent years has significantly advanced and today we have the ability to recycle nuclear waste components to produce even more abundant energy.

Nuclear power plants in France have the ability to do this, but we don't currently do it here in the U.S.

Recently, I visited Entergy's Nuclear One facility in Russellville, Arkansas and saw the nuclear waste byproducts that could be repurposed for future energy needs.

Further, I learned that the process to lengthen the life of a nuclear plant here in the United States, or much less build a new one, is an immense tangle of regulatory red tape that takes years to navigate and millions of dollars of out-of pocket fees.

We, in Congress, can do a better job streamlining that kind of review.

When America leads in research and development, that knowledge and resulting benefits are exported around the world.

We can only export that success if we have the successful policies in place to spur that development.

We cannot expect developing nations in Africa, Southeast Asia, or here in the Western Hemisphere to power their growing cities and growing and wealth populations by wind and solar alone.

Principally, because of the issues with storage, deficiencies, and production of energy from renewables, that remains while improving years in advance.

Solely depending on that is unrealistic.

So when America does not have the will to export this R&D, those countries will turn to bad economic actors, like China and Russia.

Energy policy is a long-term investment in the needs of not only our future, but around the world.

Our globe needs 100 million barrels equivalent per day to power our homes, our economies.

And as more and more countries develop, and their people grow in wealth and prosperity, their energy needs rise, Mr. Speaker, not shrink.

We cannot wait and have nothing to offer, and we certainly don't want to impose California's energy policies on the world and expect a good outcome.

We should be investing in all of our energy options, and that's why the House Republicans in the weeks ahead, just as we started out here in our first week, we will be bringing policies to this House Floor to unleash an ``all of the above'' energy strategy, oil, natural gas, nuclear, and of course renewables, like wind and solar.

They all play a part, but the mistakes of our policies today under this President means we don't have the energy capacity and dependability that we not only need today, but tomorrow.

This unleashing policy by House Republicans not only puts America first, but it puts families across the globe first.

First in opportunity, first in food and fuel security, and in prosperity.