Summer in the U.S. means hot temperatures and pleasant vacations. Both require affordable, reliable energy, in one case to cool homes and in the other to keep cars running. America’s energy producers are stepping up this year, as they always do. At the same time, policymakers on Capitol Hill are proposing solutions that would unleash domestic production to help keep energy costs low for consumers and businesses. Congressman August Pfluger (R-TX) is leading the charge.
Pfluger represents Texas’ 11th congressional district, which includes Odessa, Midland, and San Angelo. He serves on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and is a member of the Conservative Climate Caucus. Currently in his second term in Congress, Rep. Pfluger has made energy abundance and affordability a priority in his messaging and policymaking. Pfluger recently joined Drew Bond on Right Voices to discuss these issues.
Representing the Permian Basin, one of the largest energy-producing areas in the world, it may seem counterintuitive for Congressman Plfuger to be a member of the Conservative Climate Caucus. He explained his reasoning for joining the Caucus:
“Well it’s simple. First of all, the climate is not an issue that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have a supermajority thought on. Actually, when you talk about conservation, what we do with our land, how we preserve our water and our resources, that is a very conservative mindset. So if we’re not at the table pushing back on some of the fallacies and some of the myths and in some cases some of the lies about what’s going on then we’re going to be absent, we’re not part of the discussion, and the public narrative can take a life of its own. So joining something that we have already been proactively doing which is reducing harmful emissions, taking care of our land, leaving it better for the next generation—we’ve been doing that for decades. My family has been doing it for seven generations in the state of Texas. And so this was a natural fit and also it fits very nicely with what we do on the energy front so joining that and having a proactive voice to tell the American public the truth about what’s actually happening with regards to the United States and our leadership in the world is very important.”
Indeed, energy produced in the U.S. can have an outsized role in reducing global emissions. A recent report from the National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) found that American oil drilled in the Gulf of Mexico has a carbon footprint that is 23% lower than the world average.
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Recognizing the comparative carbon advantage of American energy, Congressman Pfluger has sponsored several measures to reduce barriers to domestic production. Earlier this year, the Congressman introduced the Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act, which was included in the House-passed H.R.1. The bill would repeal an EPA program that levies charges on energy producers that exceed certain thresholds of methane emissions.
While Pfluger acknowledged that excessive methane emissions can be harmful to the environment, he pointed out that industry has made impressive strides to reduce methane emissions voluntarily. In fact, a report from the Clean Air Task Force and Ceres found that between 2019 and 2021, the intensity of methane and greenhouse gas emissions from the largest oil and gas companies declined by 28% and 30%, respectively. Instead of taxing these companies and imposing a price that would get passed on to consumers, Pfluger wants to empower the private sector to continue making progress by lowering barriers to innovation.
One innovative solution he recommends is carbon capture and storage. In May, Pfluger and Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-TX) introduced the House version of the Primacy Certainty Act. It would give states, rather than the federal government, the authority to regulate carbon capture injection wells known as Class VI wells. Passing regulatory authority to states, which has already been done for North Dakota and Louisiana, would streamline the process to bring more carbon capture storage wells online and would be done under stricter environmental standards.
As the worldwide leader in reliable, affordable, and clean energy production, the U.S. is playing an important role in reducing global emissions while helping countries climb the economic ladder. Thanks to the leadership of members like Congressman Pfluger, America’s energy sector can continue to lead the world for years to come.