House Small Business Committee Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) today applauded House passage of the Domestic Energy and Jobs Act, a package of energy production bills that will lead to lower energy costs and more jobs. The bill includes the Planning for American Energy Act of 2012 (H.R.4381), which was introduced by Small Business Subcommittee on Agriculture, Energy and Trade Chairman Scott Tipton (R-CO) and the Providing Leasing Certainty for American Energy Act of 2012 (H.R 4382), which was introduced by Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations Chairman Mike Coffman (R-CO).
“There is great untapped potential for economic growth in this country with our nation’s energy resources, and I applaud Small Business Subcommittee Chairmen Tipton and Coffman for leading the way in this effort,” said Chairman Graves. “The Domestic Energy and Jobs Act will greatly benefit small businesses by helping to address the high energy prices that are increasing the cost of doing business, and it will create thousands of needed energy sector jobs. Persistently high gasoline prices and the volatility of the oil market are draining capital and putting increased stress on small companies. While it is a positive sign to see lower fuel costs recently, oil is a volatile commodity and gas prices will go back up, it’s just a matter of time. During our sluggish economy, we need long-term pro-growth policy solutions that will open up more business opportunities and provide relief from high energy costs. The means to increase domestic energy production exists, but the Obama administration lacks the will to make production on federal lands part of the solution to our energy and jobs crisis. It’s time for a positive change.”
According to a recent survey by the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council, 72 percent of small businesses report they are affected by high energy prices. Of these businesses, 41 percent report that they have altered hiring plans and another 22 percent report reducing employee hours because of high energy costs.
The Small Business Committee has held various hearings on the impact of high energy costs on small business, including a May 9, 2012 hearing titled Running on Empty: The Effects of High Gasoline Prices on Small Businesses; an April 26, 2012 hearing titled Small Business Innovators: On the Cutting Edge of Energy Solutions; a March 8, 2012 hearing titled Powering Down: Are Government Regulations Impeding Small Energy Producers and Harming Energy Security?; and an April 14, 2011 hearing titled Drilling for a Solution: Finding Ways to Curtail the Crushing Effect of High Gas Prices on Small Business. Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Tax and Capital Access Chairman Joe Walsh will hold a field hearing on high fuel prices in Illinois on Monday, June 25, 2012.