SARASOTA, Fla. – In the face of skyrocketing gas prices, Congressman Vern Buchanan today unveiled a comprehensive energy plan to increase domestic production and reduce reliance on foreign oil.
The 8-Point Buchanan Energy Independence Plan would expand domestic drilling on federal lands, encourage investment in nuclear and alternative energy and reverse wrongheaded policies that have stifled domestic energy production
“We aren’t going to become energy independent overnight but if Congress and the White House begin taking rational steps to promote domestic energy production, we can bulletproof ourselves from enemies like Russia, Iran and Venezuela,” Buchanan said. “The first step is for the Biden administration to stop trying to crush the American oil industry and start incentivizing more domestic production.”
During the Trump administration, the U.S. became the world’s number one producer of oil and strengthened our lead as one of the top natural gas producers. Our energy exports reached an all-time high, marking the first time in 67 years that America’s annual gross energy exports exceeded our imports.
In the last 14 months, however, we have moved backwards. In 2020, the U.S. produced 13 million barrels of oil a day. Now, as a result of the Biden administration’s energy agenda, the U.S. produces just 11.5 million barrels a day – more than a 10% decline.
“The question is whether President Biden will side with the American people or with the radical left and his climate guru John Kerry,” Buchanan said. “The true victims of Biden’s policies are the millions of people and families facing unprecedented gas prices, spiking inflation and a lower standard of living.”
Buchanan’s plan calls for the following:
1. Approve existing oil and gas leases on federal lands:
Congress can immediately approve pending oil and gas leases by passing the American Energy Independence from Russia Act (H.R. 6858), sponsored by Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.). The Biden administration has continued to sit on these leases instead of allowing our energy sector to continue producing ample amounts of domestic oil and gas in order to meet demand.
2. Expand natural gas and liquid natural gas (LNG) production and exports:
The U.S. is the top natural gas producer in the world with a 23.7% share of global production. There are currently 6 export licenses pending at the Department of Energy when, if authorized, would increase U.S. natural gas capacity by 25 percent. Buchanan co-sponsored H.R. 6858 which will streamline the approval process for natural gas pipelines and LNG export facilities to maintain the U.S.’ status as a global leader in natural gas.
3. Reauthorize the Keystone XL pipeline:
President Biden revoked the presidential permit for Keystone XL on day one of his presidency, effectively terminating the project and putting America’s energy security at risk. Buchanan backed the Ending Dependence on Russian Energy Act (H.R. 6916), introduced by Rep. Buddy Carter (R-Ga.) to immediately reauthorize the Keystone XL pipeline and eliminate the president’s ability to unilaterally kill future pipeline projects.
4. Reverse the Biden administration’s moratorium on drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR):
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) authorized the development of up to 2,000 federal acres of the non-wilderness Coastal Plain in the ANWR, which is approximately one ten-thousandth of the refuge. Reversing Biden’s harmful suspension and instead expanding drilling into this previously untapped reserve could bring over 10 billion barrels of domestic oil to market.
5. Prohibit the U.S. from buying oil from our enemies:
Importing oil from countries like Russia, Venezuela and Iran puts our national security at risk. Buchanan also backed the No Oil from Terrorists Act (H.R. 6969), introduced by Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.). This legislation prohibits the U.S. from purchasing crude oil from Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terror.
6. Expand nuclear energy production:
An all-of-the above energy independence policy also requires investment in nuclear energy, an alternative to coal, oil and gas. In fact, America’s 93 operating commercial nuclear reactors produce about 20 percent of U.S. energy. Congress should ramp-up the production of advanced nuclear reactors by passing the Fission for the Future Act (S. 3428), introduced by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.).
7. Extend 100% immediate expensing for new capital purchases:
The TCJA also established full and immediate expensing (the ability to completely deduct the cost of making capital acquisitions) of all new and used equipment purchases, which has been extremely beneficial for energy exploration and production companies. Buchanan has co-sponsored Rep. Jodey Arrington’s (R-Texas) legislation (H.R. 2558) to permanently this provision of TCJA. This will provide energy companies with more financial certainty so they can continue re-investing in their businesses.
8. Invest in solar energy storage:
Congress should pass a bill that I introduced with Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Pa.), the Energy Storage Tax Incentive and Deployment Act (H.R. 1684) to expand the solar investment tax credit to include energy storage technology for utilities, businesses and homes.