Key Vote: Yes on Amendments to H.R. 8

This week, Congress will consider H.R. 8, the House energy bill. Known as the “Architecture of Abundance,” this legislation aims to tackle numerous energy-related issues. Two amendments to this bill could significantly help American families. An amendment offered by Reps. Barton, Cuellar, McCaul, and Flores would lift the current ban on oil exports. Another amendment by Reps. DeSantis, Walker, Bridenstine, and Duncan (SC) would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). Both amendments would repeal costly, outdated government programs and promote affordable and reliable energy. The American Energy Alliance urges all Representatives to vote yes on the Barton oil exports amendment and the DeSantis RFS repeal amendment, if made in order.

The oil export ban is an outdated and economically damaging policy. Innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have created an American energy renaissance driven by production increases on state and private lands. Since 2008, U.S. oil production has increased more than 80 percent, according to the Energy Information Administration. In 2014, domestic oil production hit a 30-year high. Increased domestic production has resulted in lower gasoline prices for American families, with prices falling to $2.04 per gallon nationally.

Studies show that ending the oil export ban would reduce domestic oil prices. U.S. oil exports on the world market would increase the overall supply of oil in the world, thereby decreasing global and domestic oil prices. The Brookings Institution found a potential 9 cents per gallon drop in gas prices. IHS estimates lifting the ban could lower gas prices by 8 cents per gallon, and an industry study estimates removing the export ban could result in up to $5.8 billion in reduced consumer fuel costs from 2015-2035.

The RFS is another stale policy that Congress should repeal. The RFS mandates refiners to blend ever-increasing amounts of biofuel into gasoline, raising prices for motorists. The RFS has been a complete failure, costing American motorists at the pump. Furthermore, the problem it originally intended to resolve–dependence on foreign oil–has been solved due to the domestic energy boom. What the RFS has accomplished is market distortion, higher gasoline prices, and benefiting a limited few (biofuel lobbyists) at the expense of all Americans. Rep. DeSantis’ amendment would fully repeal the RFS, rather than just the corn-ethanol mandate. As noted before, half-measures to repeal only parts of the RFS would do more harm than good.

These amendments seek to improve the American energy economy by lifting restrictions and damaging policies that harm American families. If made in order, the American Energy Alliance urges all Representatives to vote YES on the Barton, Cuellar, McCaul, and Flores oil exports amendment and the DeSantis, Walker, Bridenstine, and Duncan RFS amendment to H.R. 8.

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