You are here

Energy Independence

In May, the House considered the GOP's 'Drill Only' energy bills that will not bring down prices at the pump, rather than voting to end the Exxon earmarks.  These bills are a boon to Big Oil - which is already raking in nearly $36 billion in profits and having its best year since 2008 - that would make another catastrophic oil spill more likely.

House Democrats want to move America in a new direction for energy independence--working for consumers to lower gas prices, making America more secure, and launching a cleaner, smarter, more cost-effective energy future that creates hundreds of thousands of green jobs and reduces global warming. Learn more about House Democratic bills to lower gas prices, end taxpayer dollars to Big Oil, and invest in a stronger economy»

Recent News & Actions

A Record that Speaks for Itself: GOP Votes to Support Big Oil»

Republican Energy Plan: Standing with Big Oil»

0: House Republicans Who Voted to Allow Consideration of the Big Oil Welfare Repeal Act of 2011»

GOP Rhetoric, Meet Reality - ‘Drill Only' Plan Won't Lower Prices At the Pump»

A Breakup for Speaker Boehner and Big Oil?»

Legislation in the 112th Congress

Democratic Legislation - Make It in America: Clean Energy Jobs Now agenda to End Tax Breaks For Big Oil, Lower Gas Prices»

Taxpayer and Gas Price Relief Act»

H.R. 2021 - More Giveaways to Big Oil, Not Lower Gas Prices»

H.R. 1229 & H.R. 1231 - More Gifts To Big Oil, But No Relief for Taxpayers or Consumers»

H.R. 1230 - A Gift to Big Oil, But No Relief for Taxpayers or Consumers»

Upton-Inhofe Weaken Clean Air Act»

Major Legislation in the 111th Congress

Home Star Energy Retrofit Act
On May 6, 2010, the House passed the bipartisan Home Star Energy Retrofit Act (HR 5019) to provide immediate incentives for consumers who renovate their homes to become more energy-efficient--rapidly creating jobs here at home, while saving money for American families.

Through up-front rebates of up to $3,000 for insulation, duct sealing, windows and doors, air sealing and water heaters and incentives for complete home energy-saving renovations, Home Star will:

  • Create an estimated 168,000 American jobs in construction, manufacturing and retail-industries that have been devastated by the Bush economic crisis
  • Save about 3 million American families an estimated $200-500 per year on their energy bills, totaling $9 billion over the next 10 years
  • Reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil--cutting the use of natural gas and home heating oil in an amount equivalent to nearly 7 million barrels of heating oil in 2011

Learn more about the bill»

American Clean Energy and Security Act
On June 26th, 2009, the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (HR 2454) to revitalize our economy by creating millions of new jobs, increase our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil, and preserve our planet by reducing the pollution that causes global warming.

Doing nothing is not an option. During the Bush-Cheney years, our dependence on foreign oil increased, average American household energy costs went up $1,100, American job growth was the slowest of any administration in 75 years, and carbon pollution was ignored for far too long.

Currently, U.S. consumers are exporting $400 billion a year to pay for foreign oil and America's energy bill will increase by $420 billion annually within the next 5 years if we do nothing to reduce our dependence on oil and fossil fuels. That amounts to $3,500 annually for every family in the nation. The American Clean Energy and Security Act will cut the use of oil and petroleum products by 1.4 million barrels a day in 2030 and combined with the 2007 energy bill and the Obama Administration's plan to ramp up vehicle fuel efficiency standards - will cut the use of oil by more than 5 million barrels a day in 2030. That is equivalent to all the oil we currently import from the Middle East and Venezuela and one-fourth of our nation's current total daily consumption - and will save consumers more than $135 billion in fuel costs.

    Investing in Clean, Efficient, American Energy
    On February 13 2009, Congress passed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to save and create jobs, get our economy moving again, and transform it for long-term growth and stability.  On February 17th, President Obama signed the bill into law.

    To put people back to work today and reduce our dependence on foreign oil tomorrow, we are seeking to double our renewable energy production and renovate public buildings to make them more energy efficient. The energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will create more than 500,000 jobs, and accelerate deployment of smart grid technology, provide energy efficiency funds for the nation's schools, offer support for the nation's governors and mayors to tackle their energy challenges, and establish a new loan guarantee program to keep our transition to renewable energy on track during the economic crisis. 

    Learn more about the energy provisions in the recovery bill»

    On September 16, 2008, the House passed the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act, H.R. 6899. The legislation is a bold step forward, helping end our dependence on foreign oil and increase our national security.  It launches a clean renewable energy future that creates new American jobs, expands domestic energy supply--including new offshore drilling, and invents and builds more efficient vehicles, buildings, homes, and infrastructure.  It will lower costs to consumers and protect the interests of taxpayers.  It is a comprehensive strategy, and the product of bipartisan compromise.  It offers Republicans who want a comprehensive approach the choice to make sure Big Oil pays its fair share.

    See for yourself how the Comprehensive Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act and the Boehner Energy Plan compare»

    Learn more»


    111th Congress
    American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 -- Historic legislation to launch a new clean energy economy--to create 1.7 million American jobs (with the Recovery Act); help reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by 5 million barrels per day; keep energy costs low for Americans, protects consumers from price increases with lower income families seeing no cost; with no increase to the deficit.  Requires a reduction in the carbon pollution causing climate change from major U.S. sources of 17 percent by 2020 (the basis for America's proposal going into the Copenhagen Climate Summit) and 80 percent by 2050, compared to 2005 levels.  Invests in new clean energy and efficiency technologies.  Passed House June 26, 2009.

    American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 -- Makes historic investments of more than $69 billion in clean energy:  modernizing the electricity grid to make it more efficient and reliable; tax incentives to spur energy savings and create clean energy jobs; and a significant commitment to clean energy research, and to develop advanced battery technology.  Estimated to create more than 700,000 jobs by 2012, nearly double renewable electricity over four years (instead of increasing only 6 percent), and save consumers up to $98 a year in energy costs.  Signed into law on February 17, 2009.

    Congressional Budget for FY 2010 -- Provides for a 10% increase for investments in clean renewable energy, energy efficiency, research and technological development, and paves the way for fiscally responsible legislation to spur clean energy and energy independence.  Passed by the House and Senate, April 29, 2009.

    110th Congress
    Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007 -- Landmark energy law to increase vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in more than 3 decades, to 35 miles per gallon in 2020, projected to save $1,000 per vehicle each year; to expand the use of American-grown biofuels, and to combat oil market manipulation.  Signed into law on December 19, 2007.

    Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 -- The Farm Bill made an historic  commitment to American biofuels--which are keeping gas prices 15 percent lower than they otherwise would be due to fuel blending--and increased Commodity Futures Trading Commission oversight authority to detect and prevent manipulation of energy prices.  President Bush vetoed this bill, but Congress overrode that veto.  It became law on June 18, 2008.

    Energy Improvement and Extension Act of 2008 -- Legislation that extended and expanded tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy and fuel from America's heartland, as well as for plug-in hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances, is critical to creating and preserving more than 500,000 good-paying clean energy American jobs in the wind and solar industries alone.  After President Bush threatened to veto these provisions several times, it was signed into law on October 3, 2008 as part of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act.

    Green the Capitol -- Under the leadership of newly-elected Speaker Nancy Pelosi in 2007, the House started this program to make its operations a model of sustainability.  The House set aggressive targets, including reducing energy use by 50 percent over 10 years--and now, new goals have been set for individual member offices.  Since the program's inception, the House has reduced its carbon footprint by 74 percent, it purchases wind energy to meet all electricity needs and burns only natural gas at the Capitol Power Plant.  Launched in April 2007.

    Quick Facts

    Quick Facts on the Obama Energy Agenda and Gas Prices