FIRST ON FOX: House Majority Leader Steve Scalise’s new energy bill aims to help families struggling under President Biden’s “anti-American energy agenda.”
The Louisiana Republican caught up with Fox News Digital in a phone interview about his new bill, the Lower Energy Costs Act, that he introduced with his House GOP colleagues last week.
The Lower Energy Costs Act is denoted as H.R. 1 in the House, making it the top-line agenda item for Republicans this Congress.
Scalise said the bill is “focused on making more energy in America so we don’t have to be dependent on foreign countries for our oil and natural gas.”
“And especially to lower costs for families who are struggling under the weight of President Biden’s radical, anti-American energy agenda,” Scalise continued.
Amid his party’s razor-thin majority in the House, the lower chamber majority leader told Fox News Digital that his fellow “Republican members have been very vocal for years now that we need to produce more energy here in America.”
“When Joe Biden became president, he declared war on American energy,” Scalise said. “Day one, killing the Keystone Pipeline, making it very difficult to get permits, canceling lease sales, and all of that drove up the cost of energy dramatically.”
Scalise said American “families are paying 40% more at the pump since the day Joe Biden took office” and are “paying 20 or 30% more for household electricity costs.”
“So our members have been very focused on moving a good energy package that will help us produce more energy in America and lower costs for families. So the Lower Energy Costs Act has strong support, not only amongst House Republicans, but across the country, especially by those low and middle-income families who are paying the most because they’re the ones that are hit the hardest when Joe Biden attacks American energy.”
The House majority leader told Fox News Digital the bill will lower costs by “streamlining the permit process” and creating a “one-stop shop for energy infrastructure like pipelines, which are very difficult to get approved right now, so that you can build more of the pipelines to move energy throughout America.”
Scalise said that building more pipelines will cut down on the U.S.’ reliance on foreign tanker transportation for oil and lower costs for American families.
“And so, this is the most perplexing thing that angers people as they see President Biden when he went to [global pariah and Russian President Vladimir] Putin and begged Putin for more Russian oil,” Scalise said.
“And then he flew Air Force One to Saudi Arabia to beg them to produce more oil, and they all said no because they want a higher price because they’re making billions of dollars off of selling their energy to America when we have more energy here in America to be energy independent.”
Scalise noted that America produces “cleaner” energy “at a much lower cost than anybody else in the world” and that domestic energy production “creates good jobs here in America.”
“So, from every standpoint, it makes all the sense in the world to make more energy in America, but the radical left has gotten ahold of Joe Biden’s energy agenda and they won’t let go,” Scalise warned.
The House GOP leader said there “are Senate Democrats who expressed interest in some parts of this bill” and that the legislation “represents about 20 bills that have come out of the Natural Resources Committee,” as well as the House Energy and Commerce and Transportation Committees.
“So a lot of work has gone into this by a lot of members, and, ultimately, there’s bipartisan national support for this bill,” he said. “The question is going to be: where we get Democrats in Congress to vote for it and stand with their constituents who are hurting under the weight of these high energy costs.”
“Or are they going to continue to be beholden to the radical left that has Joe Biden’s ear?” Scalise asked.
The number two House Republican told Fox News Digital that Biden has “been shielded from having to answer” the question on vetoing legislation because former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “would never bring a bill to the floor that would promote American energy.”
Scalise said that he and his fellow House Republicans “presented a lot of these bills over the last two years” to the Biden administration but “were turned down at every point,” and noted the bill comes as one of the “main planks of the Commitment to America.”
“The president’s going to have to pick a side to side with: the radical left, who a lot of them are hypocritical elites who get on their private jets and fly all around the world telling Americans they’ve got to lower their standards of living and pay higher costs for energy.”
“It’s real convenient for a billionaire elitist to tell you to pay more for energy, but for families who are living paycheck to paycheck, this has made their lives a lot more difficult,” Scalise added.
Scalise said there have been “a lot of battles in the courts” over the administration skirting existing land leasing laws that conservatives have “won some of those battles,” but the important thing is “to have good laws on the books that stand up for families and then put pressure on the administration to follow the law and then hold them accountable.”
“We’re going to have hearings on this, as well,” Scalise continued, highlighting Republicans’ letter to Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm calling on her to testify in the House “to explain” her “praising China” and saying America “can learn from China on carbon emissions.”
“For God’s sake, China is the largest emitter in the world, and the last thing we should be doing is trying to model our country [off of] what China is doing, because the administration shipped a lot of jobs to China,” Scalise said.
The Louisiana Republican said his bill would “repeal the natural gas tax that Biden put in place last Congress,” creating a “$6 billion benefit to families who are paying more on their household electricity bills.”
Scalise explained that his bill’s “one-stop shop” provision for energy infrastructure will help stop leftist environmental groups from abusing “the laws by gaming the system.”
“They’ll go to one federal agency and they’ll file a bunch of complaints,” Scalise said. “Adn then eventually, after months, those get discarded and then they’ll just turn around and go to another federal agency and file the same complaints.”
“And all they’re doing is trying to kill projects by dragging them out,” he continued. “Kind of a death by a thousand cuts approach just because they’re against American energy.”
“By adding a one-stop shop, you still have the same protections in place, but you don’t allow for abuses by allowing multiple agencies to go after and try to kill projects,” Scalise added.
Scalise said the “job of a regulator should be to follow the law and carry out the law, and not to carry out their personal political agenda.”
“And too often we’re seeing these radical leftist groups colluding with far-left bureaucrats to carry out their personal agenda against American energy,” the GOP leader said. “Which, by the way, ironically makes us more dependent on foreign countries who don’t have the strong environmental standards we have.”
“Because some of these people on the far left, they wake up every day wanting to attack and trash America, and they don’t ever acknowledge that America has the highest standards in the world when it comes to protecting our environment,” he continued.
Scalise said he is a “conservationist” and he knows “that America makes energy cleaner than anybody else in the world” and blasted Biden’s “carbon footprint” for flying Air Force One to Saudi Arabia “just to be told ‘no’” when asked by the president to make more energy.
“I don’t hear the radical left going after him on that,” Scalise added.