Today, Energy Workforce & Technology Council Senior Vice President Government Affairs Tim Tarpley testified in front of the House Natural Resources Committee Republican Forum on how certain policies are impacting the energy industry. Below is his opening statement:
Ranking Member Westerman, distinguished Republican members of the House Natural Resources Committee, thank you for inviting me to be with you here today.
I am SVP Government Affairs for the Energy Workforce & Technology Council, the national trade association for the energy technology and services sector representing over 450 companies and employing more than 600,000 energy workers, manufacturers, and innovators in the energy supply chain. Our companies provide the world with energy in the most environmentally safe, efficient, and responsible way possible, and our sector is leading the development of technology that will drive the energy transition. Our membership includes large oilfield services companies with global operations and small family-owned well servicing companies that operate locally all over the United States.
Companies within the U.S. energy services and technology industry are solution providers aiming towards U.S. energy security and a lower carbon future. The men and women of this sector should not be viewed as the enemy, they are one of our greatest assets to get us out of the position we and our allies are in right now. While the recent push for increased production is a welcome change in tone, we must remember that the Administration began its campaign against the domestic energy industry even before President Biden began his first term in office. Then-candidate Biden stated during the 2020 Democratic debate that his position was “no more drilling including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill period. It ends.” Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris echoed a similar tone when she stated “there’s no question I’m in favor of banning fracking and starting with what we can do on day one around public lands” during the 2019 CNN Presidential Townhall Event.
President Biden and Vice President Harris kept their promises. Upon entering office one of their first executive orders instituted a moratorium on new onshore and offshore oil and gas leases. These words and actions sent a clear message to the markets and the American people. The new Administration did not believe that U.S. oil and gas had a future in the nation’s energy mix. The Administration was signaling that this asset was to be viewed as an enemy. As to the moratorium, it continues to this day, due to the Department of Interior’s refusal to defend its recent offshore lease sale.
In just a few short months, everything has changed, we find ourselves beholden to malign actors, desperate for a source of reliable, ethically produced energy. Whether you sit in Brussels, Berlin, Warsaw or Washington, events around the world are reminding everybody that energy security is national security. Countries, like Germany, that have allowed their energy security to slip away are paying the price, powerless to decide their own future.
Hopefully, the majority of Americans, and a critical mass of officials within the Administration now agree. Now is the time to change course, drop the rhetoric, roll up our sleeves and get to work. The service and equipment side of the energy industry is already ramping up.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, our sector added 9,783 jobs in February bringing the sector total to 609,086. We are confident we can continue incremental production, but long-term investments must be made, and President Biden must act.
First, the Administration must signal support and encourage long-term investments in domestic oil and gas technologies, infrastructure, in addition to promoting the export of U.S. oil and natural gas technology and infrastructure to allies overseas. FERC should take immediate action on all U.S. LNG export facility and gas pipeline applications, and all pending U.S. LNG export applications stalled at the Department of Energy should be approved immediately.
Second, the Administration needs to end the moratorium on new leases for onshore and offshore drilling on federal lands. The Department of Interior should immediately appeal the federal judge’s decision overturning the recent offshore lease sale 257 and they should adhere to the Minerals Leasing Act and hold quarterly lease sales as required by law.
The Administration also must define clear permitting and regulatory policies for oil and natural gas production and infrastructure development. This includes streamlining the NEPA process, and setting consistent, achievable requirements for applications for federal permits and partnerships.
Third, the vilification of U.S. oil and gas producers must end. Energy prices are set by markets, and suggesting the oil and natural gas industry is taking advantage of a global energy crisis to increase profits is flat out wrong and irresponsible. We appreciate the withdraw of the Sarah Bloom Raskin nomination, however, other officials with similar extreme views should be excluded from senior positions.
To fully aid our allies in Europe and for the U.S. to reach long term energy independence, we recognize it will take more than just oil and gas, it will also take infrastructure investments and implementation of new and evolving technologies. Technologies like CCUS and geothermal are rapidly being improved and perfected by U.S. energy service companies. While often not yet scalable at a commercial level, government partnerships in this technology will help spur additional investments leading to a growing number of energy choices. U.S. energy service companies are also working to bring more of the lithium supply chain to the United States which will aid in expanding our ability to locally produce solar panels and lithium batteries.
If the administration quickly adopts these policy positions, we are confident that we can all work together to ensure America’s energy independence not just for today, but for many years to come. Thank you again for the opportunity to speak to the committee today, I am happy to answer any questions members may have.