Amendments to H.R. 1: The Very Good, the Good, and the Ugly
The House of Representatives is currently debating H.R. 1, the “Lower Energy Costs Act.” As the House works its way through the bill, it will consider a wide range of amendments.
As a general matter, any amendments that help to unleash American energy, reduce governmental obstacles, and respect free markets and property rights reflect good policy.
Below are just some of the amendments, broken down by the very good, the good, and the ugly. Note that the summaries of the amendments come from the amendment sponsors.
The Very Good
Amendment #114 (#10 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsors: Gary Palmer (R-AL), Debbie Lesko (R-AZ)
Sponsor Summary: “Prohibits the Secretary of Energy from implementing its proposed rule regarding gas stoves, or any other rule that would limit consumer access to gas stoves.”
Amendment #133 (#12 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Scott Perry (R-PA)
Sponsor Summary: “Repeals section 115 of the Clean Air Act.”
Note: Section 115, which deals with international air pollution, could be abused to push extreme greenhouse gas regulations domestically due to alleged harm to certain foreign countries.
Amendment #103 (#13 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsors: Chip Roy (R-TX), Keith Self (R-TX)
Sponsor Summary: “Directs FERC [the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission] to withdraw its policy statements titled “Certification of New Interstate Natural Gas Facilities’’ (87 Fed. Reg. 11548) and “Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Natural Gas Infrastructure Project Reviews’’ (87 Fed. Reg. 14104).”
Amendment #127 (#16 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Lauren Boebert (R-CO)
Sponsor Summary: “Shortens the timetable to file a petition for judicial review of a permit, license, or approval of a major infrastructure project, such as a highway or public transit project, from 150 days to 90 days.”
Amendment #35 (#37 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsors: Garret Graves (R-LA), Jerry Carl (R-AL), Mike Ezell (R-MS), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX)
Sponsor Summary: “Provides regulatory certainty by explicitly authorizing the common practice of NPDES [National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System] general permits and providing for continuances during times of administrative delay.”
Amendment #130 (#23 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Doug LaMalfa (R-CA)
Sponsor Summary: “Allows wildfire mitigation activities within 300 feet of a road on Federal lands to be carried out without regard to NEPA or ESA requirements.”
These three “good” amendments are resolutions, which makes them less valuable than substantive changes to existing law.
Amendment #128 (#2 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Lauren Boebert (R-CO)
Sponsor Summary: “Adds a Sense of Congress expressing disapproval of the denial of Jordan Cove Project permits.”
Note: The projects addressed in the amendment are a new liquefied natural gas export terminal in Coos County, Oregon and a proposed pipeline in Klamath, Jackson, Douglas, and Coos counties in Oregon.
Amendment #99 (#5 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Kevin Hern (OK)
Sponsor Summary: “Expresses the sense of Congress disapproving of the proposed tax hikes on the oil and natural gas industry in the president’s fiscal year 2024 budget request.”
Amendment #97 (#30 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Andy Ogles (R-TN)
Sponsor Summary: “Expresses the Sense of Congress that the royalty rate for onshore Federal oil and gas leases be 12.5%.”
Amendment #146 (#14 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Adam Schiff (D-CA)
Sponsor Summary: “Strikes section 10005.”
Note: Section 10005 of H.R. 1 is a “Sense of Congress expressing disapproval of the revocation of the Presidential permit for the Keystone XL pipeline.”
Amendment #52 (#19 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Veronica Escobar (D-TX)
Sponsor Summary: “Strikes Section 20103, which requires the Secretary of Interior to resolve any protest to a lease sale within 60 days.”
Amendment #41 (#26 as listed in the House Rule and House Report)
Sponsor: Mike Levin (D-CA)
Sponsor Summary: “Strikes Title V of Division B, to prevent the bill from repealing the Inflation Reduction Act’s reforms to the oil and gas leasing program.”
The House has a chance to pass critical energy legislation, and this includes not only the underlying text of H.R. 1, but also many of the amendments. Legislators should take advantage of this opportunity.