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Shelby: Obama blocking US energy independence with environmental agenda

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala.)

The Republican majority in the U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on Thursday to pass for the second time a package of energy-related bills they say would lower energy costs and create a wave of new jobs in the American energy sector.

The American Energy Solutions for Lower Costs and More American Jobs Act, as the House GOP has dubbed the package, includes measures to approve the Keystone XL pipeline, roll back costly energy regulations, increase oil and natural gas drilling and make it easier to export the country’s vast natural gas resources, among other policies.

None of the bills have been taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate, so revisiting the legislation is an attempt by Republicans to bring the issues back to the forefront.

The Obama administration responded by immediately threatening to veto the package, even if it did pass the Senate.

The White House released a statement saying the package “runs contrary to the administration’s commitment to promoting safe and responsible domestic oil and gas development as part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy to increase domestic production and reduce dependence on foreign oil, while protecting the environment and human health.”

On Wednesday, Alabama Sen. Richard Shelby shot back, accusing the Obama Administration of pushing an ideologically-driven environmentalist agenda, rather than doing what’s best for American consumers and the nation’s economy.

“Alabama families and businesses would greatly benefit from the House-passed energy bills that would unleash our nation’s energy potential, lower costs, and help create jobs,” Shelby told Yellowhammer. “Instead of continuing to push his environmental agenda through the EPA, President Obama should call on Senate Democrats to bring forward the House’s commonsense measures that would put America on a path towards energy independence.”

Forbes speculated earlier this week that the Senate may actually end up passing several of the bills in the GOP’s energy package that had bi-partisan support in the lower chamber. Democratic senators up for re-election in swing states are getting hammered by voters who are feeling the impact of the administration’s environmental agenda.

“The House has done an excellent job of framing the issue for voters: do you want an energy policy that embraces America’s abundance of natural resources or one that constricts growth?” wrote Forbes contributor Chris Prandoni. “Whether or not these bills become law is almost entirely determined by the November election. Now less than two months away, American voters will have to make up their minds soon.”

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