Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Majority Whip, gives us his weekly view from Capitol Hill. In his words:
"This week, I worked to pass energy legislation that will help hardworking families in our community and across America. I want to specifically highlight a couple of bills from the past week that offer
"February is historically the coldest month of the year and millions of Americans are facing one of the harshest winters in recent memory. That means more money being spent on home utility bills, and less money left over for the rest of a family’s needs. Even so, Washington policies have done little to alleviate these burdens, and have arguably exacerbated the problem, in some instances.
"Currently, about half of American households heat their home with natural gas, and another 39 percent of homes rely on electric heat. Unfortunately, increasingly strict EPA regulations could force countless American power plants to close, thereby driving costs up for you and me, especially in the summer months when we see our utility bills rise. To address this bureaucratic overreach, the House passed the Electricity Security and Affordability Act. This bill requires that any greenhouse gas emission standards imposed by the EPA on fossil fuel-fired power plants reflect technologies that are in existence today, rather than hypothetical technologies that don’t exist today.
"Another problem that negatively affects all sources of American energy is the excessive environmental reviews sanctioned by the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). These reviews that were originally intended to take no more than 90 days now regularly take years, or even decades, to be completed, unnecessarily delaying key construction projects. In fact, the United States now ranks 34th in the world when it comes to the procedures, time, and costs required to obtain improvement from the federal government for new construction projects. The RAPID Act sets a hard deadline on such assessments, which will allow American entrepreneurs to focus less on paperwork and more on creating good-paying jobs. With our rich energy resources right here in our backyard, this legislation will help us power not only our state, but our nation.
"Above all, it is worth noting that both bills passed with support on both sides of the aisle. I look forward to continuing this fight to bolster America’s energy potential and put more money in the pockets of hardworking Americans.
"Lastly, my office is accepting internship applications for our Summer Internship Program for college students and recent graduates. This is an excellent opportunity to learn firsthand about our nation’s legislative process, as well as to work to assist our community. Interested students may download the internship application at: http://kevinmccarthy.house.gov/services/internships.