Ted Cruz Introduces Legislation To Reopen Domestic Energy Production

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) introduced three bills in the Senate on Monday designed to help restore American energy independence. The legislation streamlines and accelerates domestic oil and gas leasing on federal land.

The first bill it named the Energy Freedom Act. It would speed up the process of federal permitting of oil and gas exploration, extraction, and pipelines. It also mandates the government to issue new sales of onshore and offshore oil and gas leases and approve pending liquified natural gas (LNG) export licenses.

The bill imposes a 60-day deadline on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Department of Energy to address the pending LNG permit applications.

It further provides that FERC and the U.S. Army Corps must complete permitting for future interstate LNG projects in one year or less. It also ensures that pipeline projects cannot be refused permits if they meet safety regulations.

The bill also accelerates federal development of geothermal, solar, and wind energy sources.

Next, the Federal Permitting Modernization Act (FAST Act) would impose deadlines on federal agencies to speed up the approval of energy projects. All agencies would have five days to issue public notice of all projects, 30 days to publish environmental impact documents, 60 days for a public comment period, and finally, 30 days for approval or disapproval based on the comments received.

Thirdly, the 90-Day Review Act reduces the time for filing an application for judicial review of permitting, licensing or approving federal infrastructure projects from 150 to 90 days. The projects covered would include highway, public transit or energy-related infrastructure projects.

Cruz issued a press statement when he introduced the bills providing that “American families are struggling with record-high gasoline and home heating prices thanks in large part to the Biden administration’s hostility toward oil and gas. One study found $157 billion in energy investment is tied up in the federal permitting process.“

“I’m reintroducing the Energy Freedom Act to reverse Biden’s actions so we don’t have to resort to tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” Cruz added.

The Texas Republican said the legislation would not cost taxpayers any money but would provide the U.S. economy with “billions in revenue in the coming years by expediting permitting, leasing, safe new pipelines, and exports, and providing much-needed regulatory certainty.”

He urged Congress to take his bills up immediately to help “put a stop to the Biden administration’s sabotage of the American energy industry.”