FIRST ON FOX: A group of Senate and House Republicans introduced companion bills that would force the federal government to factor potential adverse effects into energy policy decisions.
The Energy Poverty Prevention and Accountability Act — introduced by Sen. Dan Sullivan, R-Alaska, and Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo. — is intended to prevent energy poverty and “ensure that at-risk communities have access to affordable energy,” according to the bill’s text. Under the legislation, federal agencies would be required to assess impacts energy-related policies have on a wide variety of Americans.
“The people most negatively impacted by the Biden administration’s war on American energy have been those in our rural, elderly, and lower-income communities,” Sullivan told Fox News Digital in a statement.
“Under the guise of ‘environmental justice,’ the Biden administration’s hypocritical and short-sighted policies have increased costs on hard-working Americans and disproportionately harmed the very people, particularly Alaska Native communities, this administration so often claims to champion,” he continued.
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Sullivan noted recent actions from the Department of the Interior (DOI) axing oil and gas leases across 365,775 acres and proposing to ban future energy development on 13 million acres of land across the National Petroleum Reserve, an area in North Slope Borough, Alaska. The actions, Sullivan said, was starkly opposed by at-risk and indigenous communities in the region.
Critics argued the DOI’s decision to lock up millions of acres of land from energy development would threaten domestic energy security and was part of a broader climate agenda that will lead to higher prices in the future.
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“I’ve introduced the ‘Energy Poverty Prevention and Accountability Act,’ which requires federal agencies to be transparent about how their regulations drive up energy costs for at-risk communities,” Sullivan said.
“Alaskans are faced with some of the highest energy costs in the nation,” he told Fox News Digital. “This legislation will put a spotlight on how this administration’s reckless energy agenda harms our communities and will give them a voice to fight back.”
The legislation, which is designed to be a market-oriented solution, firstly requires the U.S. Comptroller General and Office of Management and Budget to issue a joint report to Congress at-risk communities experiencing energy poverty and offer recommendations for reducing such poverty. At-risk communities include, low-income, minority, rural, elderly and Native communities.
The bill would also mandate the Congressional Budget Office, as part of its review process, to assess how any given legislation impacts an at-risk community’s access to affordable energy.
It would further direct the DOI to study on how any proposed executive action may alleviate energy poverty in at-risk communities. And the bill additionally requires all agencies issuing any energy-related rulemaking to certify the action won’t create energy poverty in at-risk communities.
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“Supply versus demand is the most basic economic concept,” Hageman said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “Yet, Congressional majorities and presidential administrations led by climate crazed politicians, rather than statesmen, have artificially destroyed supply while demand for energy resources continues to grow.”
“Whether it was President Biden or Obama, Speaker Pelosi or Leader Schumer, these so-called leaders have waged war against American coal and oil and gas, all the while knowing they cannot replace the very energy resources they are undermining,” she continued. “These same officials roll out strategies promoting ‘environmental justice’ and ‘economic equity’ (while never defining either).”
The Energy Poverty Prevention and Accountability Act received endorsements from several energy industry groups including the U.S. Oil and Gas Association, Energy Workforce & Technology Council, Energy Poverty Prevention Project and Domestic Energy Producers Alliance.
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“Skyrocketing energy costs are crushing the livelihoods of vulnerable populations such as low-income, minority, rural, elderly, and indigenous communities,” said Derrick Hollie, of the Energy Poverty Prevention Project.
“The Energy Poverty Prevention and Accountability Act is the right step toward curbing the out-of-control costs of regulation and government overreach driving the epidemic of energy poverty in this country.”
Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, and Reps. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., Brandon Williams, R-N.Y., Lauren Boebert, R-Colo., Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., Tom Cole, R-Okla., Pete Stauber, R-Minn., and Garret Graves, R-La., were listed as cosponsors on the legislation.