Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) recently proposed legislation that would harness America’s abundant energy reserves, not only supplying much-needed energy, but also spurring economic growth. This bill, named the American Energy Renaissance Act, is a two part plan with several steps that would halt harmful regulations and barriers to trade and development and expand energy exploration and infrastructure development.
This bill would leave the regulation of hydraulic fracturing in the hands of the states. It would also allow the states to lease, permit, and regulate energy resources on federal lands within their borders. A key provision in this bill develops energy infrastructure by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, and other national and cross-border pipelines, to be built by the private sector. It would open for energy development federal lands such as the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska and the Coastal Plain of Alaska (ANWR). Finally, it would expand liquefied natural gas exports by facilitating permits and would also end the crude oil export ban.
Senator Cruz’s bill was inspired by the economic boom spurred by the oil and gas industry in North Dakota where the average hourly wage in the industry is $45.90 an hour. The state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 2.6 percent. Allowing the rest of the nation to follow suit would create jobs in the private sector, decrease unemployment, increase national revenue, and give America energy self-sufficiency.