STATEMENT OF ADMINISTRATION POLICY
H.R. 4480 – Domestic Energy and Jobs Act
(Rep. Gardner, R-CO, and 21 cosponsors)
The Administration strongly opposes H.R. 4480, which would undermine the Nation’s energy security, roll back policies that support the continued growth of safe and responsible energy production in the United States, discourage environmental analysis and civic engagement in Federal decision-making, and impede progress on important Clean Air Act (CAA) rules to protect the health of American families.
H.R. 4480 would threaten energy security and broader national security by attaching conditions to the drawdown of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) that could hinder the President’s ability to respond appropriately and lawfully to a disruption in the Nation’s energy supply. Linking a drawdown of the SPR with the leasing of Federal lands for energy production is entirely without rational basis, either temporally, spatially, or in terms of the Nation’s energy needs.
H.R. 4480 also would reverse Administration oil and gas leasing reforms that have established orderly, open, efficient, and environmentally sound processes for energy development on public lands. Specifically, this bill would favor an arbitrary standard for leasing in open areas over leasing on the basis of greatest resource potential; limit the public’s opportunity to engage in decisions about the use of public lands as well as protests of oil and gas leases; raise the potential for costly litigation, protests, and delays; curtail the use of public lands for other uses like hunting, fishing, and recreation; and remove the environmental safeguards that ensure sound Federal leasing decision-making by eliminating appropriate reviews under the National Environmental Policy Act.
H.R. 4480 also would impede progress on important protections for the health of American families. The bill would undermine the longstanding principle of the CAA that air quality standards must be set at levels requisite to protect public health, based first and foremost on sound science. The bill also would impose an unnecessary and redundant requirement for analysis of certain regulations, including some that have never been proposed. The Administration supports careful consideration of the full benefits and costs of regulation, which is why executive agencies already conduct comprehensive cost-benefit analysis for economically significant regulations and, to the extent practicable, consider the cumulative effects of the regulations, as required by Executive Orders (E.O.) 12866 and 13563, as well as preparing a Statement of Energy Effects, as required by E.O. 13211. By requiring that this duplicative analysis be submitted to the Congress, and imposing unnecessary delays before those rules could be finalized, this legislation would impede the Executive branch’s ability to implement effectively laws passed by the Congress.
If the President were presented with H.R. 4480, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill.