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Constituent Mailbag: What’s Congress Doing to Tackle High Energy Prices?
Posted by Press Office on June 28, 2013

Congressman Boehner recently received an email from Floyd, a small businessman from West Chester, asking what Congress is doing to address high energy prices. In response, Boehner recorded a brief message highlighting two “all of the above” energy bills passed by the House of Representatives this week. These bills – both part of our Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs – will expand offshore energy production to create new American jobs, and help lower costs for families and small businesses.

Read more about these two bills here and take a minute to watch Boehner’s message below:

“Hi, I’m John Boehner.

“I recently received an email from Floyd, a small businessman from West Chester, Ohio, who told me that high energy costs are hurting his business, and he’d like to know what I’m doing to help bring down the prices.

“Floyd, House Republicans are committed to a true all-of-the-above energy approach that will lower energy prices and create good American jobs. 

“That means we want to see more affordable energy options for the country, not less.

“To this end, the House will vote this week on two more bills that will expand American energy production.  One of those bills is the Offshore Energy & Jobs Act, will increase energy production by unlocking our nation’s most resource-rich offshore areas.

“Rest assured, Floyd, addressing the high cost of energy by removing unnecessary government barriers to responsible domestic energy production will remain a top priority for the House. 

“Thanks again for your question. 

“If you have a question that you’d like to ask, please visit JohnBoehner.House.gov and contact me today.”

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No Excuses, Lead Like a President (and Approve Keystone Jobs)
Posted by Press Office on May 07, 2012
A new application to construct the Keystone XL pipeline has left President Obama out of excuses for rejecting the project as Republicans prepare to fight for it in key transportation legislation negotiations, which are set to begin tomorrow.  Friday’s filing “gives ammunition to the Republicans,” one energy expert told Bloomberg, and “it may create pressure on Obama.”

Republicans pounced on the news,” with both Congressman Boehner and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) pointing out that the new application leaves President Obama out of excuses for blocking the project – and the 20,000 “new, real U.S. jobs” that go with it:

“Obama ‘cited a need for a new application from TransCanada and a new route in Nebraska,’ Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said in a statement. ‘Now that he has both, what will his excuse be?’ …

“Obama is now ‘out of excuses for blocking this job-creating energy project any longer,’ House Speaker John Boehner, an Ohio Republican, said in a statement.”  (Bloomberg, 5/5/12)

With the filing coming on the same day the Department of Labor issued another disappointing unemployment report, the Associated Press noted that President Obama is “under pressure to support the pipeline from Republicans and business and labor leaders who argue it would create jobs.”  Indeed, AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka reiterated union support for the project, saying on C-SPAN:  “I think we are all unanimous by saying we should build the pipeline.”

Editorial boards coast-to-coast also continue to speak out.  An editorial in today’s Denver Post notes that “the case for the pipeline has always been compelling if environmental concerns could be satisfied, and now that case is even stronger.”  Republicans “have the better arguments on the merits of the pipeline,” the editorial adds.

The president is in a tough spot, having gone to great lengths to appease the environmental lobby and try to kill the pipeline – even personally lobbying Senate Democrats and threatening to veto critical transportation legislation.  Now that he’s boxed into a corner, will Senate Democrats continue to do President Obama’s bidding or will they heed the House’s strong bipartisan vote and do the right thing for jobs and the economy? 

Learn more about Keystone XL pipeline and Republicans’ American Energy Initiative at Speaker.gov/energy.

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“Little Rational Basis” for POTUS to Continue Blocking Keystone XL
Posted by Press Office on May 02, 2012
The Washington Post editorial board today said “[t]he case for ultimately approving the Keystone XL pipeline — always strong — has grown stronger.” The only thing at which Keystone’s opponents might succeed is “relocating some construction jobs outside the United States,” and “President Obama’s refusal so far to authorize Keystone XL has little rational basis.” Read the full editorial here.

Support for the Keystone XL energy project is broad and bipartisan. Both Republicans and Democratseditorial boardsgovernorsjob creatorslabor unions, and a majority of the American people want Keystone approved because it will create thousands of new jobs and help address high energy prices.

Investor’s Business Daily calls Keystone XL “the most shovel-ready project in history.”

House Republicans are “holding strong” and working to move the Keystone project forward. Learn more about Keystone here and “Like” the GOP American Energy Initiative on Facebook.

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Republicans Ready Bills to Promote Onshore American Energy Production, Create Jobs
Posted by Press Office on April 30, 2012
Energy production on federal land has plummeted under President Obama – falling 11 percent for natural gas and 14 percent for oil from 2010-2011 – while gas prices have doubled on his watch.  As part of the American Energy Initiative, House Republican have introduced new legislation to cut through the Obama administration’s excessive red tape that is holding back onshore energy production and costing jobs.  Here’s a brief look at these bills, courtesy of the House Natural Resources Committee:

  • The  Planning for American Energy Act (H.R. 4381), introduced by Rep. Scott Tipton (R-CO), directs the “Secretary of the Interior to establish goals for an all-of the-above energy production plan strategy on a 4-year basis on all onshore federal lands managed by the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service.”

The committee held a hearing on these bills last week, where experts confirmed they will encourage more American energy production and create jobs: 

  • Kathleen M. Sgamma, Vice President of Government & Public Affairs for Western Energy Alliance, said “there’s a backlog of outstanding projects delayed representing 22,835 proposed wells,” which is “preventing the creation of 64,805 jobs, $4.3 billion in wages, and $14.9 billion in economic impact.” Sgamma added that “at a time of high unemployment and slow economic growth, these otherwise shovel-ready projects would be a boon to the economy in the West.”  The three American Energy Initiative bills discussed at the hearing, Sgamma noted, “contain commonsense provisions to clear some of the bureaucratic hurdles in the federal onshore process and encourage energy production.”

  • Jack Ekstrom, Vice President at Whiting Petroleum, told the committee “the process on federal lands is so bureaucratic and time-consuming that companies avoid federal acreage if at all possible,” as evidenced by the fact that “while oil production on private lands was up 14% last year, it was down 11% on federal lands.”  “If the Bakken were largely on federal lands, most producers would be tied up somewhere in the federal process, production would be considerably lower, and North Dakota would not be enjoying 3% unemployment and a billion dollar budget surplus,” according to Ekstrom.  Ekstrom also echoed Sgamma’s support for the three energy bills discussed at the hearing, saying “the unmistakable conclusion is that the prosperity, the jobs, the harvest of domestic resources … can only be realized to their potential by mandating the Department of the Interior planning to encourage development, providing leasing certainty and streamlining oil and gas permitting – in short, enactment of the legislation proposed: HR 4381, HR 4382 and HR 4383.”
Republicans will continue advancing the American Energy Initiative by moving forward with conference negotiationson legislation – which passed the House with a bipartisan, veto-proof majority - requiring approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.  In addition to this legislation, the House has passed numerous energy bills that would unlock more of America’s resources to help address high gas prices and create jobs, many of which remain stalled in the Democratic-controlled Senate.  Senate Democrats owe American job creators and families struggling with higher costs on everything from gas to groceries a long-overdue vote on these bills.  Learn more at speaker.gov/energy andFacebook.com/AmericanEnergy
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Speaker Boehner Meets With House GOP Negotiators to Discuss Keystone XL
Posted by Press Office on April 25, 2012
Speaker John Boehner met with the House Republican negotiators today who will work with the Democratic-controlled Senate to move forward on the Keystone XL energy project, as well as key infrastructure reforms designed to ensure taxpayer dollars used on roads and bridges are spent more effectively and efficiently.

Last week, bipartisan, veto-proof House majority voted to require approval of the popular Keystone pipeline -- which President Obama has blockedlobbied against, and even tried to take credit for. The project would create tens of thousands of American jobs and help address high gas prices. Below is a photo from the Speaker’s meeting:

The group of House Republican negotiators includes: Transportation Committee Chairman John L. Mica (FL), Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI), Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Science Committee Chairman Ralph Hall (R-TX), Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI), and Reps. Don Young (R-AK), John J. Duncan, Jr. (R-TN), Bill Shuster (R-PA), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Rick Crawford (R-AR), Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Larry Bucshon (R-IN), Richard Hanna (R-NY), Steve Southerland (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Reid Ribble (R-WI), Pat Tiberi (R-OH), Rob Bishop (R-UT), Chip Cravaack (R-MN), and Ed Whitfield (R-KY).

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“Carrying President Obama’s Water,” Dem Leaders “Not Going to Help” Create Keystone Jobs
Posted by Press Office on April 25, 2012
Despite overwhelming support for the Keystone XL energy pipeline and the 20,000 “new, real U.S. jobs” that go with it, Democratic leaders continue to “carry President Obama’s water,” defy the American people, and reiterate their opposition to the proposal.  From The Hill report today:

“Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said he would not in any way help Republicans move Keystone approval across the finish line.  ‘Personally, I’m not — I’m not one of the conferees — but personally I think Keystone is a program that we’re not going, that I am not going to help in any way I can,’ Reid told reporters. ‘The president feels that way. I do, too.’ …

“Reid’s tough line on the Alberta-to-Texas pipeline was also reflected in the lawmakers he chose Tuesday to negotiate with the House.  Senate leaders picked eight Democrats and six Republicans, and among the Democrats’ selections, only Sen. Max Baucus (Mont.) — who isn’t facing reelection until 2014 — has voted for requiring approval of the project to bring oil from Canadian oil sands to Gulf Coast refineries.”

Congressman Boehner today made clear that Republicans would fight for the Keystone pipeline because it would both create jobs and address high gas prices:

“[T]he Keystone pipeline that would create some 20,000 jobs immediately and up to over 100,000 indirect jobs as a result.  And as we go to conference on the highway bill with the Keystone pipeline attached to it, I think it’s time for the Senate to get serious about the need to expand American energy production.”

Later today, the House will follow up on its veto-proof vote for the Keystone XL pipeline by formally entering intonegotiations with the Senate on transportation legislation.  Despite the president’s personal efforts to block Keystone, the project continues to gain momentum, leaving him “increasingly isolated.”  And while Democratic leaders in both chambers continue to do the president’s bidding in opposing the project, it’s clear the project enjoys enough bipartisan support among rank-and-file members. 

Keystone is an important component of Republicans’ “all of the above” energy strategy to address high gas prices and create jobs, and it’s just one of many gas price bills that remain blocked by Senate Democrats. Learn more atspeaker.gov/energy and by “liking” the American Energy Initiative.

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With Gas Prices “Still Slamming Small Business,” GOP Continues Focus on Addressing High Gas Prices & Creating Jobs
Posted by Press Office on April 24, 2012
Small businesses account for two-thirds of the new jobs created in America, but persistently high gas prices are forcing them to put hiring on hold as they struggle to stay afloat.  According to a new survey released today, nearly half of small business owners have already seen their profits narrow as energy costs climbed, and the vast majority (82 percent) say higher prices will have an impact on their businesses, echoing the findings of another recent U.S. Chamber of Commerce survey.  Here are just a few examples of what small business owners are facing as a result of President Obama’s failed energy policies, in their own words:

  • “How Gas Prices Are Still Slamming Small Business” “[Susan] Zappa is one of millions of transportation-reliant small business owners grappling with higher-than-expected gas prices overall, a situation that can lead to a financial bind all the way down the supply chain. … As a result of the pressure, small firms are holding off on hiring decisions, and in some cases are preparing to hike their prices … ‘I always knew fuel was an important part of my business – but gas this expensive, with little or no relief in sight, was kind of blindsiding for me,’” said Zappa. (The Fiscal Times, 4/23/12)

  • “High Gas Prices Hurting Small Business Owners.” “High gas prices are hurting a lot of people across the country, but for small businesses, the price of diesel cuts especially deep. … Derrick Pugh owns a fleet of dump trucks and right now, gas prices are getting so high he's barely able to make a living. … ‘A lot of trucking companies have shut their doors,’ Pugh said. … Derrick Pugh is doing everything he can to keep his business afloat, but with gas prices to reach $5 per gallon by this summer, he says that might be hard.” (CBS Atlanta, 4/11/12)

  • “Small Business Owners Take Steps to Deal with Rising Gas Prices.” “The rising gas prices are hurting small businesses whose owners are having to take extra steps to curb costs. ‘It's one of our number one costs behind salary,’ said John Liezert, who owns a business that delivers office supplies to customers across the Kansas City area.” (KCTV5 News, 4/17/12)

President Obama made things worse for small business owners grappling with high gas prices by blocking more American energy production at every turn, rejecting and personally lobbying against the Keystone pipeline,demanding tax hikes that will increase costs and recycling old gimmicks that will do nothing to relieve the pain at the pump.   

House Republicans have a different approach, the American Energy Initiative, designed to harness America’s energy resources to address gas prices, and fuel economic growth and the new American jobs that come with it.  That effort will continue this week with:

  • A floor vote later this week that will move bipartisan, veto-proof legislation approving the Keystone pipeline to negotiations with the Senate, where Democrat support for the measure has left President Obama increasingly isolated in his opposition to the job-creating energy project.

  • A House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Energy And Mineral Resources hearing Thursday on new legislation that would roll back excessive government red tape hampering the development of onshore renewable, oil and natural gas resources.

The Republican-led House has already passed nearly 30 bills to help address gas prices and create jobs that are languishing in the Democratic-controlled Senate.  Instead of allowing these bills to collect dust, President Obama owes it to the American people to make good on his stated support for Republicans’ “all-of-the-above” energy policy by calling on Senate Democrats to take action and help get these critical jobs and energy bills enacted. 

Follow this week’s American Energy Initiative action by “liking” it on Facebook: Facebook.com/americanenergy, and see what else Republicans have done to help small businesses put Americans back to work with the RepublicanPlan for America’s Job Creators at jobs.gop.gov.
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Moving One Step Closer to Keystone Jobs
Posted by Press Office on April 23, 2012
This week, the House will follow up on its veto-proof vote for the Keystone XL pipeline by entering intonegotiations with the Senate on transportation legislation.  The Hill calls this “the next phase of House Republicans’ push to speed” the pipeline and the 20,000 “new, real U.S. jobs” that go with it. 

“Republicans,” today’s Roll Call notes, “point to last week’s veto-proof majority for a transportation bill with the Keystone XL pipeline attached as a stunning rebuke for the president.”  Indeed, despite the president’s personal efforts to block Keystone, the project has gained momentum over the last week.On Tuesday, Nebraska  Governor Dave Heineman signed legislation moving the pipeline forward, and continued to push the project over the weekend:

“A couple days ago officials in Nebraska unveiled a new preferred route for the state's portion of the Keystone XL oil pipeline that was supposed to run from Canada to Texas. … Governor Dave Heineman signed a bill this week that will allow some state oversight in where the line is laid. The governor says getting it in the ground is one of his priorities. … Heineman says it's still important to keep pushing for the pipeline, since it will provide for a greater level of energy independence and create more jobs in the state. “ (KTIV-TV, 4/21/12)
In an editorial today, The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, applauded the move: “TransCanada Corp.’s revised proposal to the State of Nebraska on the Keystone XL Pipeline is welcome … TransCanada’s refiling is particularly topical, at a time of high gasoline prices and the crude-oil traffic jam further south on the pipeline route, at Cushing, Okla… In January, Barack Obama declined to give prompt approval to TransCanada’s previous plan. ... This decision was well received by environmentalist groups in the U.S., who generally favour the Democrats…

All this has left President Obama “increasingly isolated” as the House prepares for negotiations with the Democratic-run Senate, where the project enjoys enough bipartisan support that the president had to personally lobby Senate Democrats to block it.  Will he do this again? 

Or, as Congressman Boehner suggested after last week’s veto-proof vote in the House, will the president “listen to the voices of the American people and unlock the project so we can get Americans working and address high gas prices”?

Learn more at Speaker.gov/energy.

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While the White House Wastes Time on Gimmicks, GOP Takes Action to Address Gas Prices & Create Jobs
Posted by Press Office on April 20, 2012
More than two-thirds of American families are facing financial hardship on account of President Obama’s failed energy policies that have driven up the price of everything from gas to groceries, according to a recent CBS News/New York Times survey.  While President Obama recycled a tired gimmick this week that will do nothing to address high gas prices (and could even make them worse), House Republicans continued taking action under the American Energy Initiative to unlock America’s resources, create jobs and ease the pain at the pump and the checkout line.  Here’s how:

  • PASSED KEYSTONE PIPELINE APPROVAL WITH VETO-PROOF MAJORITY.  In an overwhelming 293 – 127 vote on Wednesday, the House thwarted President Obama’s veto threat and passed legislation requiring approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.  As Speaker Boehner said after the vote, “With a veto-proof majority in the House supporting Keystone, the president is becoming increasingly isolated in his opposition to this job-creating energy project.”

  • ADVANCED TWO MORE AMERICAN ENERGY INITIATIVE BILLS.   On Tuesday, the House Energy & CommerceSubcommittee on Energy & Power approved two more American Energy Initiative bills that will help address gas prices.  The Gasoline Regulations Act continues House Republicans’ effort to prevent excessive red tape from choking off small business growth and driving up gas prices, key tenets of the Republican jobs plan.  TheStrategic Energy Production Act will require the president to increase energy production on federal lands – which is down an average of 14 percent for oil and 11 percent for gas – if he once again chooses political expedience over America’s security and taps the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

  • INTRODUCED THREE MORE BILLS TO BOOST ONSHORE AMERICAN ENERGY PRODUCTION.   On Wednesday theHouse Natural Resources Committee unveiled three new American Energy Initiative bills that “would streamline government hurdles and regulations that block and delay development of our onshore renewable, oil and natural gas resources,” according to the committee.  The committee will hold a hearing on these bills, and several others, next week.  

Under the framework of the Republican Plan for America’s Job Creators, House Republicans have sent nearly 30 jobs and energy bills to the Democratic-controlled Senate where they continue awaiting action.  In remarks earlier this week, Speaker Boehner challenged President Obama to set aside the gimmicks and campaigning, and work with Congress to help get these bills enacted and provide some measure of relief to the families and small business that desperately need it.  The president says he supports Republicans’ all-of-the-above energy policy, it’s time he shows the American people his support is more than just words by calling on Senate Democrats to act.  Follow the progress of the American Energy Initiative by “liking” it on Facebook, and learn more about the Republican jobs plan atjobs.gop.gov


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From Gas to Groceries, High Energy Prices Under President Obama a “Hidden Tax Increase” On “Everyone and Everything”
Posted by Press Office on April 19, 2012
Last night, a bipartisan, veto-proof majority of the House ignored President Obama’s veto threat and voted to require approval of the Keystone XL energy project. “The vote was 293 to 127, with 69 Democrats crossing the aisle to vote yes,” according to the New York TimesHuffPost Hill says the vote would prevent “the president from vetoing the Keystone pipeline…”

Keystone is an important part of Republicans’ “all of the above” American Energy Initiative. By threatening to veto this popular project (after he blockedpersonally lobbied against, then tried to take credit for it), President Obama proved again he’s not serious about doing “all of the above” to create new jobs and address gas prices which havedoubled on his watch.

But high prices at the pump aren’t the only consequence of the president’s anti-energy policies. As Speaker John Boehner said in hailing last night’s Keystone vote, “The higher energy prices go, the more we all pay for everything from gasoline to groceries...” Investor's Business Daily (IBD) explains:

“[R]ising oil prices made worse by restricted domestic supply have affected the cost of far more things than we realize. … When the railroads and trucks that deliver food to the supermarket pay more for diesel fuel, the added cost shows up when you pay for your groceries at checkout. ... Petroleum is used in agriculture to make fertilizers and pesticides, to run the tractors, threshers and other farm equipment used to raise our food. That food must also be transported via fossil fuel-consuming trucks and trains.”

IBD calls rising energy prices “a hidden tax increase on the middle class and the working poor — indeed, on everyone and everything.”

Keystone XL will help create tens of thousands of new American jobs, and will deliver energy from the upper Midwest and Canada to refineries on the Gulf Coast. With the large, veto-proof vote in favor of the project, the support of the state of Nebraska, and a new route submitted by the builder of the pipeline, President Obama is running out of excuses for blocking it. And with 64 percent disapproval of the way he’s handled gas prices, it’s clear the American people are running out of patience.

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