Speaker Paul Ryan has unveiled six white papers that lay out a policy agenda for House Republicans heading into the 2016 elections. One of those white papers focuses on economic growth and includes a substantial section on energy policy. Here is a summary of the House Republican energy proposal:
The premise of the document is that energy reform starts with regulatory reform. The plan includes repealing the Clean Power Plan, streamlining permitting and generally reducing the regulatory burden on the energy sector.
In addition, Ryan calls for a major overhaul of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and reform of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) with the goal of making development less burdensome for energy companies. The white paper describes statutory changes that would limit legal avenues for challenging projects under ESA and NEPA and would curtail some environmental analysis currently required.
Finally, the proposal calls for expanding oil and gas production on federal lands and reforming the process for developing these energy projects. The plan suggests making more acres available for drilling in the Outer Continental Shelf; an increased role for the states; and the imposition of strict deadlines on permitting decisions. Ryan recommends increased transparency of federal decision making within the Department of the Interior and increased communication with the energy developers who face these regulations.