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senate Bill S. 791

Does America Need to Ease Regulations to Produce More Domestic Energy?

Argument in favor

Energy independence is now an attainable goal for the U.S., and this bill would reduce regulations in order to provide the conditions necessary for the private sector to develop more resources and grow the economy while helping our allies.

ThomasParker's Opinion
···
06/04/2015
This is a truly marvelous and rare bill that would increase competition globally, enabling Americans to obtain energy in the most efficient ways while limiting the scope of the federal government in respect to regulating the energy market. Additionally, this allocates federal surpluses acquired on federal lands to paying down the national debt, which is in essence a reduction in government spending.
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Kevin's Opinion
···
06/06/2015
You climate change people are idiots. You are the same people who prophesied the inevitable and soon to be realized depletion of all oil resources. There shouldn't be any oil left. Why would anyone think that your climate predictions are accurate, especially when, out of millions of years of weather and climate, your predictions are based on 135 years of data? Where are the real scientists? I guess we are using our educational potential to develop iPhones and video games. How about Sim-Climate? That will keep all you idiots busy while the rest of us do something productive.
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Loraki's Opinion
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08/16/2016
Is the Pope Catholic?! A RESOUNDING YES FOR THIS BILL!!!! The sooner the better!!! And a pox on Obama's "climate change" boogeyman! Let's get going on the Keystone XL pipeline! The more energy independent America becomes, the better! Like Countable member Kathy said, "We have been energy dependent on other nations too long. We begin to lose our sovereignty when we are dependent on others for anything. Have you ever owed someone a big favor? They OWN you." BRAVO FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ! I sure hope this bill passes! Then Obama might get his SECOND veto override!! That would just make my day!
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Argument opposed

This bill eviscerates climate change regulations and environmental protections that have been on the books for decades. It opens up protected public lands for energy development, and diminishes the ability of regulators to assess energy projects.

MYT's Opinion
···
05/31/2015
Environmental protections MUST stay in place for the good of future generations. We should not be short-sighted for big-oil gain. Great progress has been made since the 1970's. Please don't erase that progress.
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Ed's Opinion
···
06/05/2015
We do not need to gut our clean air and water protections in order to achieve energy independence. This bill is yet another handout to the oil and gas industry, which has been making money hand over fist for decades, with so many "incentives" which should have been used to fund clean energy research. The whole idea of this bill is preposterous.
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Roger's Opinion
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05/29/2015
Protect the environment above all else. It's the only one in the universe available to us.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
    IntroducedMarch 18th, 2015

What is Senate Bill S. 791?

This bill aims to comprehensively reform the permitting and licensing processes in the energy sector to boost domestic production of all types of energy.

Exports of crude oil, natural gas, and coal would be opened up to countries that the U.S. doesn't have sanctions on. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) export facilities would have to speed up the permitting process to cut down on existing application backlogs. Coal exports facilities would face a narrower environmental review process than what they currently face to help accelerate that process.

Energy development on federal lands would be expanded by giving states the authority to lease, permit, and regulate energy resources on federal lands — including oil, gas, wind, and solar. If states decide not to self-regulate these developments, the developments would be covered by accelerated federal leasing and permitting practices requiring a decision within 30 days. If a decision isn't made within 60 days, applications would be considered approved.

All revenues generated by energy exploration and extraction on federal lands that isn’t allocated to the states would be used exclusively to reduce the national debt.

All greenhouse gas regulations would be repealed. Air pollutants would be redefined to exclude carbon dioxide, water vapor, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, or sulfur hexafluoride. All proposed EPA rules regarding greenhouse gases and carbon pollution would be invalidated.

This legislation would make clear that the following Acts of Congress do not authorize or require the regulation of climate change or global warming:

  • Clean Air Act;

  • Federal Water Pollution Control Act;

  • National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA);

  • Endangered Species Act of 1973;

  • Solid Waste Disposal Act.

Regulations that cover hydraulic fracturing (aka fracking) would be left to states to create and enforce, meaning that the federal government will stay out of the way. For Native American tribes, the EPA could only issue regulations fracking regulations if the tribe gives its express consent.

Construction on the Keystone XL pipeline could begin immediately, as this legislation would approve it and ensure that a presidential permit is not required for the project to begin.

Impact

Americans who consume energy, U.S. natural resources, disrupted ecosystems and the flora and fauna that inhabit them, energy development companies, states and Indian tribes, the EPA, Congress, the President.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 791

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-Depth: Sponsoring Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) posed the following question when introducing his legislation:

“Will we lead the world into a new generation of American prosperity led by the great American energy renaissance we’re experiencing, or will we instead shut off our borders, erect walls, and allow our friends and allies to be dependent on tyrants like Vladimir Putin or Nicolas Maduro?”

This bill has elicited polarizing opinions — some praising it for its potential to generate jobs and prosperity, with others condemning it for “trying to gut the Clean Air Act and U.S. climate policy” and “dramatically increasing greenhouse gas emissions.”


Similar versions of this legislation were introduced in both the House and the Senate during the 113th Congress, but neither bill made it out of committee to receive a vote.


Other provisions of this bill include:

In order to increase the capacity of U.S. refineries, the permitting process for upgrading existing facilities and building new ones would be accelerated by setting deadlines for the approval or disapproval of permits. If a state or Indian tribe requests it, the EPA would be required to enter into a streamlined refinery permitting process.


The Coastal Plain of Alaska, which comprises 1.5 million of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge's (ANWR) 19 million acres, and expanded portions of the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) would be opened up for energy development. For offshore energy exploration, drilling permits must be approved or disapproved within 20 days of an application’s submission.


EPA regulations that would impact coal and electric power plants would be halted.


The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) -- which requires an increasing amount of biofuel to be included in gasoline and diesel -- would be phased out over five years and repealed.


EPA regulations that will have a negative impact on jobs would be required to be approved by Congress and signed by the President, thus subjecting them to the democratic process.


Of Note: According to recent projections, the U.S. will produce enough energy to be independent from imports in the 2020s, and should become a net exporter of energy by 2019. In 2015 U.S. production of oil will hit an all-time high.


The growth of the U.S. energy industry has been uneven, as between 2008 and 2012 there were more than 90,000 jobs added in natural gas, nearly 80,000 in wind and solar, while coal has lost about 50,000 jobs.


Expanded drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) is supported by 78 percent of the Alaskan public, while more offshore energy exploration has the backing of a majority of Americans according to Pew Research Center.


Media:

Summary by Eric Revell
(Photo Credit: Flickr user samhowzit)

AKA

American Energy Renaissance Act of 2015

Official Title

A bill to free the private sector to harness domestic energy resources to create jobs and generate economic growth by removing statutory and administrative barriers.

    This is a truly marvelous and rare bill that would increase competition globally, enabling Americans to obtain energy in the most efficient ways while limiting the scope of the federal government in respect to regulating the energy market. Additionally, this allocates federal surpluses acquired on federal lands to paying down the national debt, which is in essence a reduction in government spending.
    Like (37)
    Follow
    Share
    Environmental protections MUST stay in place for the good of future generations. We should not be short-sighted for big-oil gain. Great progress has been made since the 1970's. Please don't erase that progress.
    Like (146)
    Follow
    Share
    We do not need to gut our clean air and water protections in order to achieve energy independence. This bill is yet another handout to the oil and gas industry, which has been making money hand over fist for decades, with so many "incentives" which should have been used to fund clean energy research. The whole idea of this bill is preposterous.
    Like (86)
    Follow
    Share
    Protect the environment above all else. It's the only one in the universe available to us.
    Like (60)
    Follow
    Share
    I dislike the evisceration of environmental regulations contained in this bill. I am no tree-hugging eco-wacko, but I like my water and my air clean. I can't support this bill in its current form.
    Like (31)
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    This temporary prosperity won't matter much when our planet is destroyed. Want to help the economy? Raise the minimum wage and stop wasting money on the military. This environment is far more important than our damn oil and gas industry.
    Like (21)
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    You climate change people are idiots. You are the same people who prophesied the inevitable and soon to be realized depletion of all oil resources. There shouldn't be any oil left. Why would anyone think that your climate predictions are accurate, especially when, out of millions of years of weather and climate, your predictions are based on 135 years of data? Where are the real scientists? I guess we are using our educational potential to develop iPhones and video games. How about Sim-Climate? That will keep all you idiots busy while the rest of us do something productive.
    Like (20)
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    Share
    I'm not interested in rolling back protections for the environment.
    Like (15)
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    While I actually would be open to reforms to certain environmentalism laws, this is to the right of the right wing. It calls for reform so extensive that the fundamental right for clean air and water could potentially be damaged or lost.
    Like (14)
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    Is the Pope Catholic?! A RESOUNDING YES FOR THIS BILL!!!! The sooner the better!!! And a pox on Obama's "climate change" boogeyman! Let's get going on the Keystone XL pipeline! The more energy independent America becomes, the better! Like Countable member Kathy said, "We have been energy dependent on other nations too long. We begin to lose our sovereignty when we are dependent on others for anything. Have you ever owed someone a big favor? They OWN you." BRAVO FOR SENATOR TED CRUZ! I sure hope this bill passes! Then Obama might get his SECOND veto override!! That would just make my day!
    Like (14)
    Follow
    Share
    Save the environment don't destroy it for temporary independence we need to invest in renewables!
    Like (13)
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    I can't support this until this bill has been amended so that National Forests can't be harmed, and that EPA regulations aren't completely curtailed.
    Like (9)
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    This will make the U.S. the world's number 1 energy producer, create good paying jobs, hault our addiction to Middle East oil
    Like (8)
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    Pay down the debt by unlocking our energy complex, while still being safe, to benefit Americans! So smart.
    Like (7)
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    Alternative energy is the way to go.
    Like (7)
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    This is a short sighted bill that will help us immediately in exchange for disaster down the road. Environmental degradation is a national emergency and is the greatest single threat to our country. Generally I'm for a free market, but individuals can't be trusted to make the right decision when their options are a
    Like (6)
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    Under the guise of expanding energy production from all sources, this bill essentially does away 50 years of struggle for clean air and water.and protection of the environment. Not surprising considering the original sponsor!
    Like (5)
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    We can not cut any environmental protection laws in fact we need to expand environmental regulations.
    Like (4)
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    The 1% addiction to making more money will not come at the cost of my environment.
    Like (4)
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    We have been energy dependent on other nations too long. We begin to lose our sovereignty when we are dependent on others for anything. Have you ever owed someone a big favor? They OWN you.
    Like (4)
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