Scalise, Westerman Introduce Bill Putting American Energy First

July 1, 2021
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Republican Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) joined House Committee on Natural Resources Ranking Member Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) in introducing the American Energy First Act, a bill that empowers states to manage energy development within their borders and encourages efficient onshore and offshore production of both conventional and renewable energy resources.

"For decades, America has been a world leader in energy production and exploration by embracing an all-of-the-above energy strategy, yet due to President Biden’s disastrous policies, we have witnessed an all-out assault on American energy that jeopardizes our security," said Whip Scalise. "The American Energy First Act invests in America’s energy future by opening up more areas to energy exploration, encouraging alternative sources of energy like wind, solar, and geothermal, and cutting red tape to lower the cost of energy for hard-working families. Part of this exploration includes the establishment of a new revenue sharing program for offshore wind development. This new system will ensure that states like Louisiana receive our fair share from this emerging domestic industry. Additionally, this bill guarantees that future presidents cannot impose devastating moratoriums on energy production like we saw earlier this year from the Biden Administration. I’m proud to join with Ranking Member Westerman to introduce this important bill, and I hope all members will support this common sense, all-of-the-above energy approach."
"Every American has felt the negative effects of the Biden administration’s actions on energy. People from coast to coast are experiencing the highest gas prices in years and the loss of dependable, good-paying jobs in the energy sector," said Rep. Westerman. "Politically-motivated actions against oil and gas affect our lives and livelihoods, impacting everything from electric bills to national security. We cannot continue putting America last when it comes to energy development and production. This is why I’m honored to be introducing the American Energy First Act today with Congressman Scalise. It’s essential legislation that ensures economic growth and domestic energy security by empowering states to manage their energy resources, both conventional and renewable, ensuring everyone has equal access to reliable, affordable energy."

Federal regulations have burdened both conventional and renewable energy development on federal lands and waters due to unnecessary permitting delays and regulatory red tape. Streamlining the leasing and permitting process will make federal lands and waters more competitive, create good-paying jobs in the energy sector and increase access to reliable, affordable energy for all Americans.
The American Energy First Act is a commonsense approach to a true all-of-the-above domestic energy strategy. 

Read the full bill text here.

Read what key stakeholders are saying about the legislation:

“We are excited to see this great piece of legislation being authored by Congressman Scalise. Anything and Everything we can do to ensure that we are protecting America’s energy independence and American Jobs should be our focus. Additionally looking at alternative energy sources, like offshore wind, will only strengthen our position in the worlds energy sector and prove that energy and the environment can live together,” said Archie Chaisson, President, Lafourche Parish.

“Energy development and conservation are not mutually exclusive. Setting aside offshore wind energy lease revenues to invest in wetland and migratory bird habitat is a logical down-payment on a sustainable future that benefits all wildlife and people,” said Zachary Hartman, Chief Policy Officer, Ducks Unlimited. 

"American offshore energy provides no shortage of benefits to the American people. From the Gulf of Mexico, and its lowest carbon barrels of producing regions, to the rising wind farms off our coasts, the American offshore is a source of environmental, social, economic, and energy progress. As energy demand rebounds as we emerge from the pandemic, it is more important than ever to support American energy production. NOIA thanks House Minority Whip Scalise, Ranking Member Westerman and others for their energy leadership and looks forward to supporting the American Energy First Act," said Erik Milito, President, National Ocean Industries Association.

"IPAA is encouraged by the reintroduction of the American Energy First Act. This comprehensive energy legislation seeks to support American energy producers, like those represented by IPAA, and enhance domestic energy production through a streamlined federal process and remove costly and unnecessary roadblocks.  In addition to many other excellent provisions in the legislation, cooperative federalism for the oil and gas leasing process as well as limiting Secretarial authority to impose federal moratoriums without the consent of Congress, will go a long way in providing the certainty that IPAA member companies need to operate on federal land and waters," said Barry Russell, President and CEO, Independent Petroleum Association of America.

“We want to thank Congressman Steve Scalise for his attention to this critical issue. The American Energy First Act will help to cut red tape, bring stability to offshore drilling, and promote solar farms in the outer continental shelf. This is common sense reform and a bit of rare good news coming out of Washington for Louisiana’s highly skilled dynamic oil and gas service sector,” said Stephen Waguespack, President, Louisiana Association of Business and Industry.

“Louisiana’s coast has always been the first line of defense against storm surge and rising seas, and it’s imperative that we continue to prioritize and implement projects that protect our communities and keep our region economically and culturally sustainable for future generations,” said Pontchartrain Conservancy Executive Director Kristi Trail. “We commend Rep. Scalise’s efforts to support the restoration and preservation of these vital wetlands,” said Kristi Trail, Executive Director, Pontchartrain Conservancy. 

"The Louisiana Oil & Gas Association fully supports and appreciates the efforts of Congressman Steve Scalise in the American Energy First Act. President Biden's moratorium on federal leasing not only threatened the economy of Louisiana but endangered the energy needs of all Americans. Congressman Scalise understands the detrimental consequences that continued moratoriums would cause to Louisiana’s coastal restoration plans. Oil and gas royalties from Gulf of Mexico production have already funded more than $250 million in restoration projects through GOMESA. We are fortunate that Congressman Scalise and our Louisiana public officials stand with the 250,000 oil and gas workers in the state against future overreaches of power by the federal government," said Mike Moncla, President, Louisiana Oil & Gas Association.

"This comprehensive energy legislation will ensure Louisiana can continue to create jobs and wealth for future generations. The inclusion of a federal revenue sharing program for offshore wind is critical so that Louisiana can benefit from the start of this sector. We commend Cong. Scalise’s leadership and steadfast commitment to American energy and look forward to working with him to support our energy sector now and in the future," said Michael Hecht, President and CEO, Greater New Orleans, Inc.

"The American Energy First Act is important for protecting domestic energy production in the Gulf of Mexico and the livelihoods of thousands of hardworking citizens in Louisiana. Oil and gas leasing and production in the Gulf of Mexico is also the primary source of funding for conservation projects across the country, and, importantly, for Louisiana's hurricane protection systems and coastal restoration efforts. LMOGA is supportive of any legislation that will protect our communities that depend on energy production for economic stability and for the protection and resiliency of our coast," said Tyler Gray, President, Louisiana Mid-Continent Oil & Gas Association. 

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