Providing for Consideration of H.R. Lower Energy Costs Act

Floor Speech

Date: March 28, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. I do want to rise in support of the rule and in support of the underlying bill.

It is interesting that our Secretary of Energy, Secretary Granholm, came to Austin, Texas, 3 or 4 weeks ago and talked about how we should learn from the communist Chinese and their approach to climate change. Talk about putting polluters over people. If she would consult her own energy information agency, she would see that China gets 55 percent of its energy from coal, whereas the United States gets 11 percent of its energy from coal.

Guess what? China is building more and more coal-fired plants each and every week that goes by.

So who, indeed, is putting polluters over people?

I submit it is this administration, and in the last Congress it was congressional Democrats.

This bill before us today is a culmination of years of hard work by the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on Natural Resources, and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. It is a critical step forward.

One of the things that I have worked on for a number of years is the Promoting Interagency Coordination for Review of Natural Gas Pipelines Act. It is included in this bill. I think it is critically important, not just for a State like Texas but, literally, the entire country. I am grateful that other Republicans Members saw fit to include this legislation as we seek to address the obstacles preventing Americans from actually achieving lower energy costs.

In less than 2\1/2\ years, we have gone from relative energy abundance to energy scarcity. We have gone from energy affordability to energy unaffordability.

Why in the world would we want to continue down that pathway?

H.R. 1 also contains the repeal of section 50131 of the Inflation Reduction Act. This provided a billion dollars to coerce State and local governments into adopting costly energy codes. If these grants were allowed to stand, they would take away local control over energy code adoption and Federalize these overreaching mandates.

Efforts to push costly and restrictive energy codes across the country overburden new construction and largely ignore the energy performance of the existing housing stock. New homes built to modern codes are already energy efficient, and further increases in that stringency must be carefully considered because, in fact, we are not doing that with these grant programs.

Mr. Speaker, 2 years ago the Congress started with what was called the American Rescue Plan. It brought us high inflation and it brought us high prices. This is truly the American Rescue Plan. Let's put energy affordability back within the reach of the average American.