Press Releases

Graves, Rodgers, Westerman Statements on H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act

Washington, D.C., March 9, 2023 | Justin Harclerode (202) 225-9446
f t # e

Today, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Sam Graves (R-MO), Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-AR) released the following statements about H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act.

“Addressing America’s ongoing energy crisis is one of the most important actions this Congress can take.  The Transportation and Infrastructure Committee passed the Water Quality Certification and Energy Projects Improvement Act of 2023, which will prevent the Clean Water Act Section 401 process from being hijacked and weaponized to block important energy projects.  I’m proud to have this legislation included as part of H.R. 1’s commonsense and comprehensive approach to solidifying our energy independence,” said Graves.

“From the gas station to the grocery store, President Biden’s war on American energy is making life more difficult and more expensive for the hardworking people of this country. It is also weakening our security and making us dangerously reliant on China’s supply chains that are more harmful to the environment and use slave labor,” said Rodgers. “We’re leading in H.R. 1 to lower prices, secure our supply chains, cut our reliance on the Chinese Communist Party and build more energy infrastructure. It’s just the beginning of our work on energy and climate solutions to restore America’s energy dominance, make life affordable again, and ensure we continue to lead the world at reducing emissions.”

“Republicans are delivering on our promises to the American people by unleashing the full power of our energy and minerals, cutting permitting delays, creating jobs, growing our economy and dealing a blow to China and Russia. Energy security is national security,” said Westerman. “At long last, H.R. 1 will give Americans the tools to tap into our resources and build stronger, more resilient communities than ever before. When families no longer have to worry about how they'll afford to fill up their gas tanks or turn on a light switch, they have the necessary breathing room to invest in our economy. I believe our best years as a country are still ahead, but we won't get there by taking a backseat and outsourcing an ever-growing demand for natural resources to our foreign adversaries. We are taking back control, putting America first, and unlocking access to the cleanest, safest energy production the world has ever seen.”

Background Information on the Water Quality Certification and Energy Projects Improvement Act of 2023:

  • Improves the water quality certification process under Section 401 of the Clean Water Act (CWA)
  • Clarifies the scope of Section 401 permitting, keeping its focus limited to ensuring water quality, as the CWA intended
  • Prevents the weaponization of Section 401 reviews by activist bureaucrats and allows for the development of vital energy infrastructure
  • Encourages energy independence at a time when families continue to face skyrocketing energy costs
  • Specifically, the Water Quality Certification and Energy Projects Improvement Act of 2023 requires states and tribes to publish clear requirements for their water quality certifications, make final decisions on whether to grant or deny a request in writing based only on water quality reasons, and inform project applicants within 90 days whether the states have all of the materials needed to process a certification request.