American Energy Development
American energy is the fuel that drives our way of life. From wind to solar, geothermal to hydroelectric, oil to natural gas, and coal to nuclear, our nation should adopt an aggressive all-of-the-above, free market strategy to achieve North American energy independence. Preserving the freedom of every American to pursue happiness through energy production means more jobs, lower gas prices and cheaper home electric bills. By opening more areas for production, rolling back creativity-stifling regulations and reforming our tax code, the federal government can expand the energy renaissance we are already seeing on private lands to public lands, and across our entire economy. Most importantly, when Americans are free to dream and innovate, they will always find safer, cleaner, cheaper, and more efficient ways to produce and use energy.
My comprehensive energy plan, the Energy eXploration and Production to Achieve National Demand (EXPAND) Act, H.R. 3895, has been called “a starting point on all the issues above” by The Greenville News. The Heritage Foundation in Washington has reviewed it and noted “10 Ways the EXPAND Act Would Take the Energy Market in the Right Direction.” At home in South Carolina, Santee Cooper’s Vice President for Public Affairs, Richard Kizer commented that “This country needs an energy policy to help navigate increasing complexities in making and delivering electricity. Santee Cooper appreciates the leadership of Congressman Duncan in sponsoring the Expand Act, which could prove to be a good opportunity for critical dialogue and solutions.”
In addition to my comprehensive plan, I have been working on specific focus areas, including seismic testing in the Atlantic, opening the South Atlantic for oil and natural gas exploration and production, and approving the U.S. Mexico Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreement.
Approved by the House and ultimately signed into law by the President, much of my language from H.R. 1613, the Outer Continental Shelf Transboundary Hydrocarbon Agreements Authorization Act, lifted a moratorium on production over nearly 1.5 million acres of the Gulf of Mexico known as the Western Gap. You can read more about my original legislation here and here.
My legislation to open up South Carolina’s coast in the federal waters of the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf for production also passed the House this Congress as part of the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act.
Before the Atlantic OCS is included in the Department of the Interior’s Five Year Plan, it is crucial that updated seismic testing be allowed off our coast. Current estimates are decades old, and when updated technology was used in the Gulf to reassess resource potential, our estimates rose by 500%. In 2013 I sent a bipartisan letter with Rob Wittman and 40 of our colleagues in the House to President Obama urging completion of the Environmental Impact Statement which will pave the way for seismic testing.
Thankfully, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management recently published the Preliminary Environmental Impact Statement.
Should we move forward with opening our coast for production, I am confident South Carolina would benefit tremendously. A recent study prepared by Quest Offshore estimates that offshore production could contribute $3.7 billion to state revenue and create over 35,000 jobs in South Carolina.
More information on my work to achieve North American energy independence: