| April 29, 2014

Cruz/Bridenstine energy bill would boost jobs, prosperity

Energy policy? What energy policy? That’s the common question in recent years while watching endless delays over the Keystone pipeline, various federal agencies dithering over drilling regulations, and continued resistance to expanded energy exploration.

But there’s a new, comprehensive energy policy being considered in Congress, thanks to two energy-state lawmakers, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Oklahoma Congressman Jim Bridenstine. Their American Energy Renaissance Act is one of the most all-encompassing efforts to chart a positive national energy policy in some years.

The law would do two things: end federal meddling in energy policy, and build jobs, prosperity, and energy independence by boosting exploration and production.

In the first area, it would return regulations of things like hydraulic fracturing to the states, get the Keystone pipeline built, take the EPA out of coal regulation, and insist that Congress have a say in any EPA regulations that would kill jobs.

In the second, the bill would open federal land to more leasing, speed offshore drilling, and boost energy exports. As a capper it would insist that any extra revenues from energy production on federal lands be dedicated to reducing the national debt.

Unlike the ill-fated stimulus bills of recent years, which mostly boosted the ranks of government workers, this is one piece of legislation that would really put Americans — and Oklahomans in particular — to work.

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