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Leader Upton: The Free Market and Competition Rewards Efficiency and Innovation


Washington, D.C. — Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader Fred Upton delivered opening remarks at Tuesday’s Energy Subcommittee hearing.

Excerpts and highlights from his prepared remarks:


“I look forward to today’s hearing to explore opportunities to take full advantage of America’s energy abundance, our economic strength, and our spirit for innovation. We will also examine what’s at stake with the stake Biden Administration’s Executive Orders attacking American energy production and manufacturing, and also the Majority’s CLEAN Future Act, which would enforce de facto bans on hydraulic fracturing, pipeline infrastructure, and plastics manufacturing.

“Over the last decade, the United States has become the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas. As a result, we import less from the Middle East and we are more energy secure today than ever before. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and the shale revolution, we are all reaping these benefits in the form of good-paying jobs and affordable and reliable energy.

“As we will hear from Gillette Mayor Louise Carter-King and Mr. Perez, jobs in fossil energy, mining, and manufacturing provide meaningful, family sustaining work for millions of Americans. States and local governments also rely upon the revenues to pay for hospitals, schools, and roads. We are not just talking about a few people’s livelihoods. We are talking about entire communities who could be harmed by a transition’ to lower paying jobs, poorer performing schools, and underfunded local government services under the CLEAN Future Act.


“As we discuss the so-called “just transition” that my friends across the aisle are advocating for, let us review some recent history to remind ourselves how we got where we are today.

“From the days of gas lines in the 1970s until the mid-2000’s America was trapped in an energy scarcity mindset – energy prices were going up, our domestic production was declining, and we faced ever-growing dependence on oil from the Middle East.

In 2008, something remarkable began to happen within the energy industry. In the face of the global economic recession, private companies started investing billions of dollars in new technologies to unlock oil and gas from America’s shale resources that had been overlooked. Thanks to the free market and states with pro-growth regulatory policies, domestic production flourished, and we were able to cut our imports from more than 2 million barrels a day to zero barrels per day. In 2020, for the first time in our history, we became net energy exporters.

Today, as a result of the shale revolution and the rise of natural gas, we are also leading the world in carbon emissions reductions, and we didn’t need a top-down Federal mandate, a price on carbon, or the Paris Agreement to get there either. We owe that to the free market and competition that rewards efficiency and innovation.

Let us also recognize that the States and local governments – rather than the Federal government – are the primary drivers of the trends we see today, which is why I believe it so important to hear from our mayors and the workers who live and work in the community.

Press Release