Hydraulic fracturing has been important to providing small businesses with the affordable and reliable energy they need to operate and grow.
Yet, even in states where fracking has been approved, projects on federal land can still be subject to federal review that can halt or delay critical energy projects for years. This kind of uncertainty can stifle development and small businesses ability to plan future investment.
The U.S. House of Representatives took an important step toward providing certainty on Wednesday, passing the Protecting States’ Rights to Promote American Energy Security Act in a 235-187 vote.
NFIB announced earlier this week that it would consider the measure a key vote, which we use to inform NFIB members about how their members of Congress represent their interests in Washington.
Small businesses have watched with dismay as the administration continues to delay approval of the much needed Keystone XL pipeline project, and do not want to see the same delays with hydraulic fracturing. This legislation addresses this problem by prohibiting enforcement of federal regulations on federal lands in states that puts in place its own regulations, guidance or permitting requirements –giving states that have handled the issue for years the right to make their own decisions.
The cost of energy remains one of the top concerns of small business owners, who rely on affordable energy to operate their businesses successfully. According to the 2012 edition of NFIB’s Small Business Problems and Priorities, “Cost of Natural Gas, Propane, Gasoline, Diesel, Fuel Oil” ranked as the third-most important priority among NFIB’s members. Nearly 35 percent of respondents cited energy costs as a “critical” issue to their business.
Additionally, according to NFIB’s Energy Consumption poll, energy costs are one of the top three business expenses in 35 percent of small businesses. Providing more affordable energy will directly help small businesses reduce the impact high energy prices have on their business.
NFIB hopes the Senate will approve this legislation to help provide small businesses with the affordable and reliable energy they require.