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With Zinke Finally Confirmed, Let’s Get to Work Unleashing America’s Potential

WASHINGTON – The American Energy Alliance (AEA) congratulates Ryan Zinke on being confirmed as the next Secretary of the Interior. AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement:

“I am confident that Secretary Zinke will follow through on President Trump’s campaign promises to put America’s onshore and offshore energy resources back in the game. We are an energy-rich nation with some of the greatest natural gas, oil, and coal resources in the world—much of which are located on federal lands. In recent years, leaders at the Interior Department have disregarded the multiple-use concept for federal lands and have been outright antagonistic toward oil, gas, and coal leasing. By opening more areas for energy exploration, President Trump and Secretary Zinke have a great opportunity to deliver more jobs, higher wages, and much-needed economic growth to the American people. We look forward to the administration seizing that opportunity.”

Background
“ICYMI: Trump Cites IER Study in Speech on Energy,” by the Institute for Energy Research

“The Economic Effects of Immediately Opening Federal Lands to Oil, Gas, and Coal Leasing,” by Dr. Joseph Mason

“Trump’s Interior Dept. Has Opportunity to Turn Around Dismal Leasing Policies,” by the Institute for Energy Research

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Scott Pruitt Will Be a Champion for the American People and the Environment

WASHINGTON – The American Energy Alliance (AEA) congratulates Scott Pruitt on being confirmed as the next Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement:

“Scott Pruitt will be a true champion for the American people and our environment. Throughout his career, Pruitt has fought to uphold the rule of law and to protect the rights of Oklahoma families and communities. He will do the same for all Americans as EPA Administrator.

“In recent years the EPA has far exceeded its mandate and has used regulations as a cudgel to force states to adopt a political agenda. This agenda has upended whole communities—destroying jobs and subjecting Americans to higher energy costs. That will no longer be the case under Administrator Pruitt, who respects the rights of states and individuals and understands that clean air and water and a robust economy go hand in hand.

“We look forward to Administrator Pruitt advancing policies that grow the economy, protect the environment, and make life better for American families and workers.”

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Key Vote: Pruitt Nomination

Today the Senate is expected to vote on the nomination of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to serve as the next Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The American Energy Alliance (AEA) urges all Senators to vote YES on Mr. Pruitt’s nomination.

As Oklahoma’s Attorney General, Pruitt has consistently fought to protect Oklahoma families and communities from federal intrusion and has been a stalwart defender of the rule of law. Notably, Mr. Pruitt led a multi-state effort opposing the EPA’s unlawful attempt to take over the nation’s electricity grid under section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. This regulation would shutter an estimated 40 GW of reliable and affordable energy, unnecessarily harming American families for little to no environmental benefit.

Mr. Pruitt also stood up for states, families, and the Constitution by opposing the Obama Administration’s overreaching “Waters of the United States” regulation. This rule was so invasive that even small ponds and waterways on family farms would have been subject to federal regulation. Mr. Pruitt filed suit against the EPA, refusing to subject Oklahomans and other Americans to this unconstitutional regulation without exhausting all legal pathways.

Mr. Pruitt respects and upholds the Constitution and recognizes that the best way to protect our environment is not through federal diktats, but through a system where the EPA cooperates with states and local communities. As he explained in his confirmation hearing:

“Environmental law, policy, and progress are all based on cooperation: cooperation between the States, cooperation between the States and EPA, and cooperation between the regulators and the public. Such cooperation is essential because clean air and water and a healthy environment are essential to the American way of life and key to our economic success and competitiveness.”

In other words, the federal government is not the end-all, be-all solution. Empowering states to address their own environmental concerns promotes responsiveness, instills accountability, and ensures that the people closest to the issues and with the most local knowledge have the resources they need.

Mr. Pruitt has a stellar record of fighting for families and communities in Oklahoma and upholding the rule of law. As Administrator, he will reset energy and environmental policy in ways that will grow the economy, improve the environment, and make life better for the American people. Senators should vote YES on Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA. AEA will include this confirmation vote in its American Energy Scorecard.

Coalition Opposes Carbon Tax; Requests Meeting with White House 

WASHINGTON – Today the American Energy Alliance (AEA) and a coalition of free-market and conservative organizations sent a letter to White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn to request a meeting with the Administration on the issue of a carbon tax. The signers of the letter include Thomas Pyle of AEA, Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform, Michael Needham of Heritage Action for America, Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, and Adam Brandon of FreedomWorks. The following is an excerpt from the letter:

We are reaching out to you following the widely publicized meeting you attended on February 8 with members of the “Climate Leadership Council” to discuss their ideas regarding the establishment of a nationwide carbon tax.

Our organizations have significant concerns regarding any prospective carbon tax proposal. Such a policy would place undue economic burdens on American families and businesses by intentionally increasing the cost of the energy they rely on every day. A carbon tax would also be regressive – doing the most harm to our nation’s economically disadvantaged – and would destroy American jobs, particularly in the manufacturing sector.

We are heartened by the fact that President Trump flatly rejected the notion of a carbon tax during his 2016 candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. We are equally heartened that streamlining our nation’s vastly overgrown and economically destructive regulatory system remains one of the President’s top priorities. This Administration is already taking steps to eliminate harmful regulations such as the so-called “Clean Power Plan,” because doing so will be good for American workers, families, and businesses. Adding a new tax on energy in return would represent an extremely costly step in the wrong direction – one that those workers, families, and businesses cannot afford.

We respectfully request a meeting with you to further discuss our concerns regarding a carbon tax and to provide additional information that may be helpful in your assessment of the issue. Each of our organizations has a unique perspective to offer; together, we represent a nationwide coalition of activists, concerned citizens, and stakeholders who have a vested interest in ensuring the formulation of sound energy and tax policy that will best support, serve, and strengthen our great nation.

Click here to view the full letter.

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Key Vote: Senate BLM Methane CRA

Several weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulation for methane venting and flaring. We urge Senators to vote YES on this CRA resolution.

The Congressional Review Act allows for Congress to halt certain regulatory actions. Congress can pass a joint resolution of disapproval for a rule within 60 legislative days of publication and prohibit agencies from enacting any substantially similar rules. The BLM methane rule, which was finalized in December of 2016, is a prime example of costly regulatory excess and is ripe for review under the CRA. According to the American Action Forum, this rule will cost $1.8 billion.

The BLM methane rule would require the oil and gas sector to take unnecessarily costly measures to reduce methane emissions on federal lands by up to 45 percent by 2025. However the rule would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by a mere 0.0092 percent, making this “all economic pain for no environmental gain” rule the poster child for excessive and unnecessary government regulation.

Furthermore, this regulation ignores the significant strides that the industry is already making. According to the EPA, methane emissions fell by 13 percent from 2011—2014—a time when natural gas production significantly increased. In addition, methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing fell by 81 percent from 2012—2014. We don’t need a federal regulation to force oil and gas producers to control their methane emissions—methane itself is a versatile fuel source and valuable commodity.

The BLM methane rule is an unnecessary regulation that will destroy jobs and make energy more expensive for American families. AEA will score this vote in its American Energy Scorecard. Senators should vote YES on the CRA resolution to repeal the BLM’s methane rule.

AEA Applauds Congress for Passing Stream Rule CRA Resolution

WASHINGTON – The American Energy Alliance (AEA) applauds Congress for passing a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution to repeal the previous administration’s costly Stream Protection Rule. AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement:

“We applaud Congress for taking swift action to halt this costly and duplicative regulation. This midnight regulation from the Obama administration was a direct attack on responsible coal production and would have threatened tens of thousands of jobs, while making energy more expensive for American families. This is an important step in resetting years of bad policy and ensuring that Americans continue to benefit from one of our most abundant, affordable, and reliable sources of energy. We look forward to President Trump signing the resolution and officially putting an end to this senseless regulation.”

AEA is including both the Senate and House votes in its American Energy Scorecard.

Click here to read AEA’s key-vote alert.

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EPW Democrats Should Do Their Job

WASHINGTON – American Energy Alliance President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement after Senate Democrats boycotted the Environment and Public Works Committee’s vote on Scott Pruitt’s nomination to lead the EPA:

“The EPW Democrats should stop their political grandstanding and do their job. President Trump should be afforded the same long-honored tradition as previous first-term presidents to quickly assemble his cabinet and execute the policies that he promised and that the American people voted for. Scott Pruitt has proven throughout his career and again during his confirmation hearing that he will be a champion for American families, real environmental improvement, and the rule of law. That’s the sort of leadership that has long been missing at the EPA. Senators should of course vote their conscience, but they should not stand in the way of the will of the American people.”

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AEA Supports Judge Neil Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court

WASHINGTON — The American Energy Alliance (AEA) applauds President Donald Trump’s nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch to fill Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement in support of Judge Gorsuch’s nomination:

“President Trump has made another outstanding decision by nominating Judge Gorsuch to the Supreme Court. Throughout his career Judge Gorsuch has displayed great respect for the separation of powers and a firm adherence to the Constitution. He has an impeccable record of sound legal opinions and is an outspoken critic of the doctrine of Chevron Deference, which has placed far too much power in unelected and unaccountable federal bureaucrats. Judge Gorsuch’s belief that the Constitution should be interpreted as written is greatly needed after years of excessive regulation and increased power in the executive branch. AEA urges members of the U.S. Senate to honor Justice Scalia’s legacy and stand up for families across the nation by supporting the nomination of Judge Neil Gorsuch.”

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Key Vote: Stream Rule and BLM Methane CRAs

This week, the House of Representatives is set to vote on two Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolutions aimed at repealing Obama regulations limiting responsible coal and natural gas production. The resolutions would nullify the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) regulation for methane venting and flaring and the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule (SPR). We urge Representatives to vote YES on both resolutions.

The Congressional Review Act allows for Congress to halt certain regulatory actions. Congress can pass a joint resolution of disapproval for a rule within 60 legislative days of publication and prohibit agencies from enacting any substantially similar rules. The BLM methane rule and the Interior Department Stream Protection Rule, which were finalized in November and December of 2016, are prime examples of costly regulatory excess and are ripe for review under the CRA. According to the American Action Forum, these two rules combined will cost $3.5 billion.

The BLM methane rule would require the oil and gas sector to take unnecessarily costly measures to reduce methane emissions on federal lands by up to 45 percent by 2025. However the rule would reduce global greenhouse gas emissions by a mere 0.0092 percent, making this “all economic pain for no environmental gain” rule the poster child for excessive and unnecessary government regulation.

Furthermore, this regulation ignores the significant strides that the industry is already making. According to the EPA, methane emissions fell by 13 percent from 2011—2014—a time when natural gas production significantly increased. In addition, methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing fell by 81 percent from 2012—2014. We don’t need a federal regulation to force oil and gas producers to control their methane emissions—methane itself is a versatile fuel source and valuable commodity.

Similarly, the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule is an unnecessary federal regulation. The SPR is largely duplicative—the EPA and Fish and Wildlife Service already administer many of the Interior Department’s new regulatory changes. The Department of Interior’s Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement estimates that the SPR would lead to additional annual compliance costs of $52 million. According to some estimates, the SPR could put over 280,000 jobs at risk, including up to 78,000 in the coal mining industry. This regulation would have the largest impact on the people of West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania—states that have already endured years of costly regulations from the Obama administration’s war on affordable and reliable energy.

The BLM methane rule and the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule are unnecessary regulations that will destroy jobs and make energy more expensive for American families. AEA will score both votes in its American Energy Scorecard. Representatives should vote YES on the CRA resolutions to repeal both the BLM’s methane rule and the Interior Department’s Stream Protection Rule.

AEA Applauds Action on Keystone and Dakota Access Pipelines

WASHINGTON – President Trump has signed executive actions today to advance the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines and to streamline the permitting process for important energy and infrastructure projects. The American Energy Alliance (AEA) looks forward to analyzing these particular actions when the White House releases the final text of the orders. AEA President Thomas Pyle issued the following statement:

“President Trump is wasting no time implementing the pro-growth energy policies he talked about on the campaign trail. More importantly, with these actions today, President Trump is signaling that the federal government will once again honor the rule of law.

“Keystone XL and the Dakota Access Pipeline are long overdue infrastructure projects that have been senselessly and needlessly delayed by politics. In both cases, the previous administration changed the rules in the middle of the game, violating the rule of law and betraying Americans’ trust in the federal government. The Trump administration is sending a strong signal that it is serious about putting Americans’ needs first and that pipelines and other important energy projects will no longer languish due to political pressure from the ‘keep-it-in-the-ground’ crowd.

“Pipelines are a safe, efficient way to transport our energy resources and are critical to strengthening the economy. While these two projects are important, the real story here is that the federal government is no longer going to play political games by slow-walking permits or changing course in the middle of a legal process. It is refreshing to have an administration that recognizes the undeniable link between sound energy policy and a strong America.”

Click here to read IER’s latest analysis on how the Obama administration violated the rule of law on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

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