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Dear Member of Congress,
On behalf of Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I urge you to vote “NO” on S.J. Res.14, a resolution of disapproval for reforms related to the regulation of oil and gas under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act (a companion resolution, H.J.Res.34 was introduced in the House). This resolution would worsen energy poverty, re-establish duplicative and burdensome regulations with a disproportionate impact on small businesses, and open the door for a fast-track ban by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on fracking and other oil and gas extraction techniques. These techniques have revolutionized the U.S. energy industry, providing trillions of dollars in consumer benefits, and resulted in dramatic environmental progress.
We cannot regulate our way to a cleaner environment; we need to innovate our way to a cleaner environment. This resolution would reinstate an entirely unnecessary regulation on methane for new sources and, in turn, create a requirement for new, unworkable standards for existing oil and gas production under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. Adopting California-style, top-down bans or significant restrictions on oil and gas development on private land would wreak economic and environmental havoc. According to the U.S. Department of Energy: “Compared to a world with hydraulic fracturing, in 2025, the United States economy would have 7.7 million fewer jobs, $1.1 trillion less in gross domestic product (GDP), and $950 billion less in labor income,” with natural gas prices increasing more than 240 percent, gasoline prices going up over 100 percent, and retail electricity costs escalating by $480 billion.
Adopting this resolution is unnecessary and would cut the public out of the regulatory and legal process. Under its day one Executive Order 13990, the Biden Administration has already directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to go through the notice-and-comment process to rescind this 2020 rule which had, in turn, reaffirmed EPA’s 2012 new source performance standards for oil and gas. The public deserves the chance to weigh in on these changes, especially since EPA has determined that the focus on methane is illogical and redundant, and “rescinding the methane limits will not actually change the amount of methane emission reductions….” Attached to this alert is a timeline of forthcoming Biden-Harris administration executive branch energy actions, and Congress should apply similar scrutiny to forthcoming unilateral regulations, executive orders, and implementation of international agreements.
This action would also result in substantial legal uncertainty as the Congressional Review Act (CRA) states that a disapproved rule “may not be reissued in substantially the same form.” Section 805 of the CRA states that “no determination, finding, action, or omission under this chapter shall be subject to judicial review.” Considering that legal challenges to EPA’s related actions in 2012, 2016, and 2020 have not yet been decided, adopting this resolution would likely confuse the public, federal courts, and regulated entities, resulting in years of needless litigation.
More than 30 million American households face high energy burdens and pay a substantial portion of their take home pay for electricity, heating, and fuel. The lowest income households devote more than 20 percent of their after-tax income on residential utilities and gasoline. Overregulation and barriers to the production, transportation, and consumption of energy would only make things more expensive for Americans while doing nothing to improve the environment. The United States has led the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the last two decades not because of command-and-control regulation, but bottom-up innovation.
Congress should continue to embrace the bottom-up innovation that will result in leaps in efficiency far greater than any mandate.
Linked here is a timeline of forthcoming Biden-Harris administration executive branch energy actions, and Congress should apply similar scrutiny to forthcoming unilateral regulations, executive orders, and implementation of international agreements.
We urge you to vote “NO” on S.J.Res.14. This vote will be recorded in our legislative scorecard.
Chief Government Affairs Officer
Americans for Prosperity