Building America's Energy Security

Floor Speech

Date: June 26, 2013
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ROTHFUS. I thank the gentleman from North Dakota for yielding, and I thank the gentleman from Colorado for bringing this important discussion on energy and jobs.

And it's not just the folks out west who are excited about energy. We in Pennsylvania are very excited.

In fact, I'm from the southwestern part of Pennsylvania, and yesterday I was driving through the city of Pittsburgh around the same time that President Obama was renewing his war on coal from behind a podium in Washington, D.C.

Our coal miners and steel workers built Pittsburgh. However, if the regime that President Obama and the unelected bureaucrats at the EPA, that regime that they're planning for the next 20 years, if that regime had been in place in the 19th century, Pittsburgh might not have become the great American city that it is today.

The regulations introduced yesterday by President Obama are only the latest salvo in his war on low-cost American energy. These new regulations will result in more shuttered coal mines, power plants, and more lost jobs.

When our coal miners and power plant workers lose their jobs, we lose people vital to our communities and we lose wages and tax revenues critical for supporting local small businesses and schools. These new regulations will also raise energy prices and significantly impact moms and dads sitting around the kitchen table paying their monthly utility bills.

Long story short, this war on coal is a war on the livelihoods of millions of hardworking middle class men and women in western Pennsylvania and around the Nation. It's a war on good-paying American jobs, a war on American opportunity, and a war on American prosperity. And it must end.

President Obama and unelected Federal elites must be held accountable for the negative impact these regulations will inflict on hardworking moms and dads. The REINS Act, which I support, would hold them accountable by requiring that any regulation with an annual economic impact of $100 million or more must be approved by Congress. Any regulation that has that much impact on our country should be voted for in Congress.

Low-cost American energy is a major factor in economic growth and job creation. Every business and family uses fuel and electricity. The Federal Government needs a commonsense, straightforward, all-of-the-above energy policy to spur growth and get our economy booming again. The House Energy Action Team is a great group of Members dedicated to that goal. Coal, wind, natural gas, solar, nuclear, thermal, hydro, and oil must all play a part in powering our economy. Western Pennsylvania offers unparalleled opportunities and is benefiting economically, thanks to the development of our plentiful energy resources.

The economic benefits are not limited to the energy sector. Lower energy prices resulting from increased domestic production would benefit the entire economy. For each new energy job, three or more additional new jobs are created across the economy. These are good-paying American jobs.

This week, the House will consider legislation that would create over 1 million new good-paying American jobs, bring more domestic energy to the market, reducing costs for families and businesses, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. President Obama and the Senate need to get serious about an all-of-the-above energy approach to domestic energy exploration and development so that we can grow these jobs. By safely and responsibly developing all of our Nation's natural resources, we can re-light our economy, add jobs, and move towards North American energy independence. In short, this will improve the quality of life for western Pennsylvania and all Americans.