Americans Deserve Relief from Rising Energy Bills

March 7, 2014
Representative Roby's Weekly Column

Too many American families are still struggling in this tough economy, and rising energy bills are squeezing family budgets even more. One of the coldest winters in years has made matters worse, driving up heating costs nationwide. 
That’s why the House acted this week to lower energy costs through commonsense reforms that will boost domestic energy production, reduce red tape, and encourage energy efficiency. 

One bill – the RAPID Act – streamlines the environmental review process for new construction projects and cracks down on junk lawsuits. Another bill - the Electricity Security and Affordability Act – is aimed to combat the Obama Administration’s “war on coal” by reining in overreaching regulations imposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Another energy bill passed this week addresses the propane availability problem that many Alabama farmers have faced this winter. I've heard from many farmers who have had difficulty acquiring propane this winter. It's especially a problem for our poultry farmers who need the propane to heat their chicken houses. The HHEATT Act eases restrictions that have hindered the transportation of propane and put our farmers at risk.

House Republicans and a growing number of Democrats also continue to put pressure on the Obama Administration to finally approve development of the Keystone XL Pipeline. In addition to lowering costs and creating jobs, approving the Keystone Pipeline would also be a key step towards decreasing American reliance on foreign sources of energy. 
President Obama said in 2008 that under his environmental plan, “electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket,” and that new regulations would “bankrupt” coal producers. Unfortunately, President Obama and other environmentalists would have middle class families foot the bill for their radical agenda. 
Americans experience the pain of high energy costs every time they fill up at the pump or pay the power bill. We need an “all of the above” energy strategy that includes the development of American oil and natural gas, alternative energy sources such as solar, hydropower, wind, and nuclear, and the continued development of clean coal. More information on our comprehensive energy plan can be found online at

The Week Ahead

As you know, I have long spoken out against the Obama administration for the numerous occasions where they acted beyond the Constitutional restraints on the Executive Branch. That's why I am glad the House will focus this week on legislation designed to rein in executive overreaches.

Specifically, the House is expected to vote on:

  • H.R. 3973, the Faithful Execution of the Law Act, to require federal officials to report to Congress when the Administration fails to faithfully enforce current law;
  • H.R. 4138, the ENFORCE Act, to establish procedures under which the House, or the Senate, may authorize a lawsuit against the Executive Branch for failure to faithfully execute the laws; 
  • H.R. 311, the Farmers Undertake Environmental Land Stewardship Act, to direct the EPA to change the spill prevention, control, and countermeasure for certain farms - I am a proud cosponsor of this bill; and
  • H.R. 3474, the Hire More Heroes Act, to allow employers to exempt veterans from being taken into account for purposes of the employer mandate under ObamaCare.

As always, I appreciate the opportunity to hear from you directly about the issues of interest to you. My door is always open, so I look forward to hearing from you.