The House voted Thursday to pass a bill aimed at lowering energy costs and increasing energy independence in America.  

If signed into law, the Republican-backed energy bill “would allow us to once again be able to drill for energy, natural gas, [and] oil,” Rep. Michael Guest, R-Miss., told The Daily Signal on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

Guest also said the bill “deals with critical minerals.” He added, “We know that many of the critical minerals we obtain today come from China—we need to be able to produce those domestically, so this is a great first step in bringing down the cost of energy across the United States.” 

Guest is one of 221 Republicans, along with four Democrats, who voted to pass the Lower Energy Costs Act, also referred to as HR 1. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., joined 203 Democrats to vote against HR 1.  

The legislation would “lower energy costs by increasing American energy production, exports, infrastructure, and critical minerals processing, by promoting transparency, accountability, permitting, and production of American resources, and by improving water quality certification and energy projects, and for other purposes,” according to the bill text.  

Republicans argue that increasing energy production in the United States will not only lower energy costs, but is also better for the environment than relying on other nations for energy resources.  

“We’re very friendly as far as environmentally in this country and that’s where we need to be getting our energy dependence from—our own country, not others,” Rep. Greg Murphy, R-N.C., told The Daily Signal. 

The bill now moves to the Senate for a vote. But, even if Republicans can gain enough support from Democrats to pass HR 1 in the Senate, President Joe Biden is expected to veto the energy bill.  

“The Administration wants to work in bipartisan manner with Congress to address lowering energy costs, permitting reform, and addressing energy challenges,” the White House said in a statement Monday. “However, H.R. 1 would take us backward. Therefore, if presented to the president in its current form, he would veto it.”

Republicans argue that Biden’s policies have harmed America and stifled energy production.

“From day one, President Biden and his administration have waged war on American energy,” Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America, told The Daily Signal, adding that H.R. 1 is a step in the right direction for American energy production:

Driven by radical and scientifically shaky climate alarmism, their policies have both caused prices to inflate to unaffordable levels for American families and have also forced the U.S. to rely on hostile foreign powers for essential fuels like oil and natural gas. H.R. 1 is a strong step towards reversing the Biden administration’s reckless policies and lowering energy costs for the American people. Conservatives in Congress should continue to work to support American energy independence and fight back against the Left’s failed Green New Deal agenda.

“He has done more to harm American energy than probably any president ever,” Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., said of Biden. “He came in on the first day [and] took the Keystone pipeline off the table.” The Arkansas congressman said Biden’s decision to put a moratorium on energy production on federal lands was even worse. According to Westerman, Biden’s “whole administration has done nothing but fight American energy.”

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