U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan Serving Wisconsin's 1st District

U.S. Congressman Paul Ryan Serving Wisconsin's 1st District

U.S. House of Representatives

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The Fiscal Year 2014 Budget, The Path to Prosperity

The fiscal year 2014 budget resolution builds on last year’s resolution and supports the nation’s energy-policy priorities— economic prosperity, lower gasoline and energy prices, and greater domestic energy production—while moving toward market-based solutions for sustainable-energy sources. The resolution draws on the House Republicans’ American Energy Initiative, which seeks to advance an all-of-the-above energy approach for the United States.

The administration continues to penalize economically competitive sources of energy and to reward their uncompetitive alternatives. On the one hand, it pours money into its favored industries. In its 2013 report, the Congressional Budget Office found  federal support for the development and production of fuels and energy technologies—including both tax expenditures and federal spending—totaled $20 billion, of which “half was directed toward energy efficiency and renewable energy, 22 percent for nuclear energy, and 15 percent for fossil energy.”  And the White House refuses to answer for the lack of job creation and growth resulting from almost $16 billion spent on “stimulus” grants, almost a quarter of which went to European and Asian renewable-energy companies.

At the same time, the administration puts up roadblocks to further development of traditional energy resources and the infrastructure needed to get it to market. One of the President’s very first initiatives was to cancel oil leases on onshore federal lands and to delay the offshore leasing plan. The administration’s opposition to domestic drilling continued with a 2012–2017 Offshore Lease Plan Proposal that imposed the same de facto moratorium that had been lifted in 2008. Oil production on federally controlled lands and federally controlled waters declined from 2009 to 2012 by 6 percent, while natural gas production on federal property declined by 21 percent over the same period.   Additionally, the President refuses to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline project.

While U.S oil production is at its highest levels in two decades, production on federal lands has declined in recent years. That is particularly problematic, because the federal government owns nearly one-third of the land in the country-an area roughly four times the size of Texas. Substantial volumes of oil and gas are known to lie under these government lands and offshore beneath government waters. According to the Congressional Research Service, the U.S. combined recoverable natural-gas, oil, and coal endowment is the largest on earth—not Russia, Saudi Arabia, or China. Our country has 233 billion barrels of recoverable oil and enough natural gas to meet the country’s demand for 90 years.

The best energy policy is one that removes regulatory impediments and encourages robust competition and innovation to ensure that the American people have access to an affordable and stable energy supply.  This is exactly what the FY 2014 House-passed budget does.  The Path to Prosperity eliminates crony capitalism in the tax code, advances pro-growth reforms aimed to boost job creation and lower gas prices. 

ü  It calls for fundamental, revenue-neutral tax reform that would scale back or eliminate the deductions, loopholes and carve-outs that are distorting the tax code. It seeks to end the tax discrimination currently codified in the tax code and treat large and small businesses alike.  It lowers the corporate rate to 25 percent for all job creators so that U.S. businesses no longer have to labor under the highest corporate tax rate in the world. By broadening the tax base, the federal government would be able to generate the same level of revenue without the discriminatory distortions for special interests that politicians have packed into the current tax code over the years.

ü  It rejects calls from the President and his party’s leaders in Congress to raise taxes on energy producers.

ü  It overturns the Obama administration’s policy of blocking and delaying domestic energy production both onshore and offshore, which is costing jobs and sidelining American energy sources at a time of rising gasoline prices and unstable conflict in the Middle East and North Africa.

The House-passed budget calls for a more sensible approach, increasing receipts from bonus bids, rents, royalties, and fees as a result of unlocking domestic energy supplies in a safe, environmentally responsible manner.

Keystone XL Pipeline Decision

In 2008, Canadian pipeline company, TransCanada, filed an application to build the Keystone XL pipeline.  According to the Department of Energy and the Energy and Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over this issue, the pipeline will eventually be able to move up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day.  And further, it is projected to create 20,000 direct jobs.  Since the Keystone XL pipeline would travel across the border between the U.S. and Canada, a "Presidential Permit" must be awarded to the project from the State Department. 

In the years since the application was filed, the project has undergone exhaustive review by the State Department.  However, the Administration has continued to delay approval of this common sense, job creating project.  In contrast, the House of Representatives has continued to take action.  Most recently, in May 2013, the House passed - in a bipartisan fashion - H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act.  This legislation would declare that no Presidential Permit be required for the approval of the Keystone XL pipeline application, and among several other provisions, would deem that the final environmental impact statement issued by the Department of State in August 2011 and the Final Evaluation Report issued by the state of Nebraska be sufficient to satisfy all the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. 

In the Final Supplemental Environmental Impact, the Department of State notes in the report that “assuming the construction of the proposed Project were to occur in the next few years, climate conditions during the construction period would not differ substantially from current conditions.”  With this in mind, there is no reason for further delay from the President.  I look forward to working with Members of Congress to find ways to move forward on this proposal which will not only lessen our dependence on Middle Eastern oil but also create thousands of American jobs.  

A Long Term Solution for Energy Independence

I believe a national energy proposal must take a multi-pronged approach focused on increasing American-made energy, reforming outdated fuel regulations, building the infrastructure we need to transport domestic energy and allowing alternative energy sources to compete in the market. 

Build More Infrastructure

I also support reforms to our regulatory and permitting processes to ensure that domestically produced energy is able to get to market, whether this means getting natural resources to energy intensive manufacturing regions, or getting oil to the refineries that are best suited to process it.  In addition to creating numerous jobs, the reforms would allow domestic manufactures and refineries to take advantage of less costly American energy.  Over the past few years, multiple refineries that import oil from overseas have shuttered due to an inability to compete with refineries that have access to cheaper domestic oil.   Certain refineries are built to process light sweet crude oil, like that found in North Dakota, while others are built to process heavier oil, like that we import from Canada.  Increasing energy infrastructure will create more flexibility and more competition in the market, which can lead to lower prices for the consumer.

Fuel Requirements

Outdated gasoline blending policies have increased the price of gasoline and created a lot of uncertainty in the market.  Refiners are required to meet unrealistic mandates, some of which cannot be met because the fuels required don’t exist yet, and others that pose a risk to vehicle engines or gasoline refueling infrastructure.  These mandates were put in place when the perception was that the United States would consume an ever-increasing amount of energy in future years, while simultaneously facing an energy shortage.  Both these predictions proved to be far from accurate, making the fuel mandates very difficult, when possible, to comply with.  Furthermore, areas like Southeastern Wisconsin that are required to use different fuels during the winter and summer months experience price spikes when the transition between fuel types is made.

Domestic Production

America has an abundance of domestic resources – including natural gas and oil in the Outer Continental Shelf, Alaska, oil shale in the Central West, and a variety of alternative sources.  A top priority of the 113th Congress must be to unleash the potential of domestic production of American–made energy in an environmentally-conscious manner. We can do this while simultaneously improving infrastructure and creating jobs by allowing the use of royalties paid by energy companies to repair roads and bridges.  At a fundamental level, the cause of expensive gasoline is an imbalance between supply and demand.  Our society continues to demand more gasoline than we can support without oil imports, but we have not increased the domestic supply of crude oil being produced on federal lands.  Increasing supply at home will not only help lower fuel prices and create good paying jobs, but it will reduce our reliance on foreign oil from hostile nations such as Iran and Venezuela. To this point, House Republicans are committed to advancing proposals to increase American–made energy.

Additional Information

Washington, DC Office
  • 1233 Longworth House Office Bldg
  • Washington, DC 20515
  • Phone: (202) 225-3031
  • Fax: (202) 225-3393
Janesville Office
20 South Main Street
Phone: (608) 752-4050
Suite 10
Fax: (608) 752-4711
Janesville, WI 53545
Toll Free: (888) 909-RYAN (7926)
Kenosha Office
5031 7th Avenue
Phone: (262) 654-1901
Kenosha, WI 53140
Fax: (262) 654-2156
Racine Office
216 6th Street
Phone: (262) 637-0510
Racine, WI 53403
Fax: (262) 637-5689
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