(CNSNews) – The American Petroleum Institute (API) called upon Congress and the president to “unleash American energy and fuel recovery” with a set of 10 policies that it believes will correct a disparity between global fuel supply and demand.
“Washington policymakers must confront the global mismatch between demand and supply that has driven higher fuel prices by supporting greater U.S. production,” said API in its Ten Policies to Unleash American Energy and Fuel Recovery. “To address the growing crisis we face, Congress and the president must support energy investment, create new access and keep regulation from unnecessarily restricting energy growth. The world is calling out for energy leadership. America can and should step up fast.”
Expanding development in federal lands and waters, scrapping the Security and Exchange Commission’s climate disclosure proposal, expanding tax credits for carbon capture and storage practices, and supporting education efforts for energy jobs are among the major proposals put forward by the organization.
The plan laid out by API comes amid rising gas prices and inflation in the United States. Last month, gas prices hit an average of $5 per gallon — an all time record in the United States. Inflation accelerated to an annual rate of 8.6% in May.
Current gas prices are in part a result of several factors, including the sudden increase in demand as people return to in-person work and supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. However, President Biden appeared to blame gas companies last week, saying, “Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”
That statement has been criticized by experts such as David Blackmon, an energy policy analyst. Blackmon argues that senior White House officials, particularly those in the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Interior, have continually tried “to depress the domestic oil and gas industry.” This, he argues, has caused a spike in fuel prices.
“There is simply no denying that pretty much every regulatory action taken by the Biden administration to this point has had an upwards impact on prices retailers charge at the pump.”
Nevertheless, gas prices have fallen from that $5.02 high. As of July 6, the national average was $4.78 a gallon (unleaded), and economists are predicting that they will continue to fall. Experts disagree on how big that decrease will be, or if it will even be noticeable.
Last month, Biden called for a temporary suspension of the 18-cent federal gas tax, but it failed to gain support in Congress.
The API plan also calls for the end of steel tariffs on imports from U.S. allies because “steel is a critical component of energy production, transportation, and refining.”
Those tariffs were put in place by the Trump administration. The tariffs levied a 25% tax on steel and aluminum imports. The administration’s decision was motivated by a desire to combat Communist China, but the tariffs were primarily imposed on Europe and allied states. The European Union (EU) retaliated with sanctions of their own.
The Biden administration largely ended those tariffs, prompting the EU to lift its own tariffs. However, the agreement leveled a quota on steel, which stipulates that the EU can export around 3.3 million metric tons of steel to the United States in a single year without the tariffs, but tariffs will be applied to steel shipments in excess of that quota.
The 10 policies API proposes that lawmakers could pursue are,
- Lift Development Restrictions on Federal Lands and Waters
The Department of the Interior (DOI) should swiftly issue a 5-year program for the Outer Continental Shelf and hold mandated quarterly onshore lease sales with equitable terms. DOI should reinstate canceled sales and valid leases on federal lands and waters.
- Designate Critical Energy Infrastructure Projects
Congress should authorize critical energy infrastructure projects to support the production, processing and delivery of energy. These projects would be of such concern to the national interest that they would be entitled to undergo a streamlined review and permitting process not to exceed one year.
- Fix the NEPA Permitting Process
The Biden administration should revise the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process by establishing agency uniformity in reviews, limiting reviews to two years, and reducing bureaucratic burdens placed on project proponents in terms of size and scope of application submissions.
- Accelerate LNG Exports and Approve Pending LNG Applications
Congress should amend the Natural Gas Act to streamline the Department of Energy (DOE) to a single approval process for all U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. DOE should approve pending LNG applications to enable the U.S. to deliver reliable energy to our allies abroad.
- Unlock Investment and Access to Capital
The Securities and Exchange Commission should reconsider its overly burdensome and ineffective climate disclosure proposal and the Biden administration should ensure open capital markets where access is based upon individual company merit free from artificial constraints based on government-preferred investment allocations.
- Dismantle Supply Chain Bottlenecks
President Biden should rescind steel tariffs that remain on imports from U.S. allies as steel is a critical component of energy production, transportation, and refining. The Biden administration should accelerate efforts to relieve port congestion so that equipment necessary for energy development can be delivered and installed.
- Advance Lower Carbon Energy Tax Provisions
Congress should expand and extend Section 45Q tax credits for carbon capture, utilization, and storage development and create a new tax credit for hydrogen produced from all sources.
- Protect Competition in the Use of Refining Technologies
The Biden administration should ensure that future federal agency rulemakings continue to allow U.S. refineries to use the existing critical process technologies to produce the fuels needed for global energy markets.
- End Permitting Obstruction on Natural Gas Projects
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should cease efforts to overstep its permitting authority under the Natural Gas Act and should adhere to traditional considerations of public needs as well as focus on direct impacts arising from the construction and operation of natural gas projects.
10. Advance the Energy Workforce of the Future
Congress and the Biden administration should support the training and education of a diverse workforce through increased funding of work-based learning and advancement of STEM programs to nurture the skills necessary to construct and operate oil, natural gas and other energy infrastructure.
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