Congressman Joe Garcia's Statement on American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act


Date: Sept. 18, 2014
Location: Washington, DC

Earlier this week, the House voted on H.R. 2 -- a compilation of 13 distinct, controversial bills aimed at addressing energy source development. Congressman Garcia issue the following statement in response to the vote --

"As a former Commissioner with the Public Service Commission in South Florida and appointee to the Department of Energy, I have long been a champion of reduced heat, gas, and energy costs for South Florida's families. I believe the development of energy infrastructure, such as Keystone XL, is critical in this country. I believe that energy independence and the expansion of our contribution to the global energy trade, through exporting things like LNG, is equally so. However making these decisions can and should be done through strong public engagement and established agency rulemakings -- not by certain members of the Congressional leadership team playing dictator.

The American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act was a disguised attempt by Republican leadership that would, by effect, systematically harm our environment. H.R. 2 would cut the financial and regulatory responsibilities of big oil companies at the expense of our coral reefs, air and water quality, and the health of the plants, animals, and ecosystems that our economic interests and unique way of life in South Florida rest on.

While I am a firm believer in the economic and geopolitical benefits of exporting abundant or over-produced energy sources for economic gain, we need to do it in a smart, bipartisan way. We need to both respects the benefit of assessing potential environmental impacts through requisite permitting, while also appreciating the need to cut red tape and move quickly when it comes to international energy independence and economic drivers. I believe there are ways to speed the permitting process for LNG exports that don't entirely remove or waive certain environmental assessments. HR 2 was a compilation of 13 bills packaged into one. It contained many of the smart energy initiatives that I previously voted for independently, however, the addition of certain poison pill bills that would tie the hands of the EPA and block environmental protections, made it a bill I could not, in good conscience, support. "

Through Rep. Garcia's positions in Energy departments he has facilitated some of the greatest cuts in energy cost South Florida families have ever seen. His understanding of the needs, realities, and possibilities of domestically used, imported, and exported energy throughout the United States is greater than nearly any of his colleagues.