This morning the House will continue debate on the Strategic Energy Production Act of 2012 (HR 4480), which seeks to increase domestic oil and gas production and reduce regulation of the energy industry in order to reduce energy prices and boost economic growth. This measure is the result of compiling the text of 7 separate bills – two reported by the Energy and Commerce Committee and five reported by the Natural Resources Committee. The new comprehensive bill would delay implementation of certain EPA air quality and fuels regulations, and create an interagency committee to review the impact of EPA rules and regulations on energy prices and the broader economy. It also changes the management of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to require additional oil and gas leasing on federal public lands and waters commensurate with a release of the Reserve’s oil.
More specifically, the bill requires the Interior Department to develop a strategic plan for the nation’s energy needs over 30 years and set domestic production goals to meet demand; increases the amount of federal land available for energy production and streamlines the process for approving drilling permits; and sets new standards for judicial review of civil actions filed against energy lease sales or drilling permits.
Several amendments will be considered today, with a final vote predicted for this afternoon.