House Majority Leader Eric Cantor delivered the following remarks on the House floor in favor of H.R. 2728, the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act:
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman and I thank the gentleman from Washington. I rise today in support of the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act.
“Over the last ten years America has been experiencing a shale energy boom and because of new technology in hydraulic fracturing, the development of energy resources has been environmentally friendly. While the technology that has made this boom possible is truly impressive, I want to take a moment and focus on the impact this boom is having on hard working middle class families.
“Many American families are living paycheck to paycheck. Many have gone years without a meaningful raise. But powering their lights or heating their homes is not an optional expense. An unexpected rise in the monthly utility bill means less money for new school clothes, the college savings account, or even a night out at the movies. That is why it is so important that we pursue policies that lower energy costs. Hydraulic fracturing is one such policy.
“A recent study found that absent hydraulic fracturing, a family’s home energy bills and other costs for goods and services would have been $1,200 higher last year. The study concludes that continued production of our domestic energy resources could increase disposable household income, principally by lowering costs by $800 over the next two years. This is the type of relief American families deserve.
“But lower energy costs for working families is not the only benefit of hydraulic fracturing. The same study showed that the natural gas and shale oil industry contributed over 1.7 million jobs in 2012 alone. Going forward, it’s predicted to add a total of 2.5 million jobs by 2015. These are good, well-paying jobs right here in America. For those who have been struggling to find work for months, or in some cases years, this kind of advancement in energy technology could allow these folks to find work, get back on their feet, and provide for their families. It is no coincidence that areas of our country with active domestic energy production from hydraulic fracturing are experiencing lower levels of unemployment.
“These benefits to working families are now under threat. They are under threat from newly proposed federal regulations by this Administration that would cost our economy jobs, keep energy bills from falling, and hinder our cause to become more energy secure.
“State governments and local regulators have been very effective with implementing environmentally sound regulations to meet the specific geologic requirements for their states for over 60 years. This Act will keep the federal government from imposing redundant regulations and needless red tape that will only raise the monthly utility bills of millions of American families and cost America new jobs.
“The States and local regulators should be allowed to do this job without federal interference. I saw firsthand, when I accompanied my colleague from North Dakota, Rep. Kevin Cramer, in Williston, wellheads that were being drilled. And the last thing they need in North Dakota are the federal regulators coming in to tell them how to drill a well.
“This bill is an opportunity for the House to act in a bipartisan manner and show our constituents that we are serious about creating jobs; that we’re serious about easing the burden of high energy costs; and serious about strengthening our energy security.
“I would like to thank all those involved and the Chairman of the Committee as well as Congressman Bill Flores, and the rest of Chairman Hasting’s Natural Resources Committee for their hard work and dedication to this issue for working middle class families. I also want to thank Chairman Lamar Smith and the Science Committee for their important contribution to this legislation. I urge my colleagues in the House to support this legislation, and I yield back.”