In the past three years of pro-growth Republican policies under President Trump’s leadership, we have reversed much of the economic damage done by the Obama administration and unleashed the incredible potential of American energy resources. By exploring all forms of energy — from oil and gas to coal, nuclear and other renewable energy — and by instituting responsible regulatory reform, America has become a leading energy producer and is fast becoming the global leader in energy exports.
The U.S. has made tremendous progress since President Trump took office, and we can’t afford to turn back now. As leaders of the House Energy Action Team (HEAT), we are working to promote this success and shine a light on the destructive changes Democrats would have us make under their radical energy proposals that call for a complete socialist remake of the country’s economy and an end to America’s traditional and reliable energy sources. Across the country, conservative energy policies are creating jobs and driving down costs for hard-working families. Through American innovation and free market competition, not phony Paris treaties, U.S. energy emissions have fallen to 1990 levels and CO2 emissions are expected to decline again in 2019.
We have seen these benefits firsthand in our districts.
In Louisiana, technological innovations like deepwater drilling and hydraulic fracturing are allowing us to safely tap previously inaccessible oil and gas reserves. This increased production has allowed the U.S. to compete with foreign adversaries and strengthen partnerships with our allies who no longer have to depend on countries like Russia and Iran for energy. With our LNG export facilities and as home to the nation’s only offshore oil port, South Louisiana is at the forefront of the country’s burgeoning export activity. Our export capabilities now allow us to provide more cost-effective and cleaner energy to the rest of the world.
Some 52.9 percent of South Carolina’s electricity is generated from nuclear power, and it accounts for 95.5 percent of the state’s emission-free electricity. Nuclear power is reliable, critical to U.S. national security and geopolitical interests, and has significant economic benefits. We as a nation should be advocating for policies that incentivize private investment in the industry and for policies conducive to establishing a permanent geologic repository like Yucca Mountain. Given that nuclear energy generates 56 percent of America’s carbon-free electricity in the U.S., it is overwhelmingly the largest source of the nation’s clean energy and must be part of our energy matrix.
Oklahoma has historically been known as an oil state. But Oklahoma is also a leader in renewable energy. We are now the second in wind generation. We are focused on an all-of-the-above energy strategy because we understand that they can complement each other. When the wind isn’t blowing in Oklahoma, we rely on natural gas to power our electricity. Using all of our energy resources means lower costs for families and lower emissions. Because Oklahoma has adopted this strategy, we are home to some of the most affordable power in the nation.
In all of our districts, we have seen that by bringing sanity to regulations, and allowing the free market to work, energy companies are modernizing energy generation processes, reducing emissions and creating new jobs. Liberals in Washington, however, prefer radical, government-first plans like the Green New Deal, which would destroy our national economy and send prices of everyday goods soaring for families and small businesses all across our country.
In just a few weeks, the United Nations is set to convene, once again, to dictate to the world a set of costly, job-killing regulations as part of that body’s effort to legislate a global temperature change. As we already know from the Paris Accord, in practice, these schemes simply transfer millions of good-paying jobs from America to bad actors, like China, who have little obligation to reduce their continually growing carbon emissions. This is the wrong direction.
The American economy is booming in large part because of Republicans’ pro-growth approach to energy development. As leaders of HEAT, we will continue to lead on policies that will continue this growth and prioritize a safe, clean environment.
House Minority Whip Steve Scalise, Louisiana Republican; Rep. Jeff Duncan, South Carolina Republican; and Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma Republican, are co-chairs of House Energy Action Team (HEAT).