Washington, D.C. – The House today passed the Energy Diplomacy Act of 2018 (H.R. 5535), which reaffirms the State Department’s responsibility for foreign energy policy, authorizes an Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources and supports the development of U.S. energy resources to advance our interests abroad.

On the House floor prior to the vote, Chairman Royce delivered the following remarks (as prepared for delivery):

 “As America’s energy production has increased, our nation’s influence in global energy policy has grown. The U.S. is now the world’s top producer of petroleum and natural gas for the fifth straight year. Our abundant supply of energy resources is not only good for our economy, it’s also good for our national security. And it offers American allies a critical alternative to countries like Russia, which use their energy resources to bully their neighbors, and OPEC – the global oil cartel – which enriches its member states at the expense of U.S consumers.

In this moment of heightened American energy leadership, it’s critical that the State Department have the leadership and the direction needed to fulfill its statutory responsibilities governing international energy diplomacy.

The Energy Diplomacy Act will elevate America’s energy security and diplomacy priorities by authorizing an Assistant Secretary for Energy Resources at the State Department. This Assistant Secretary will replace the Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, demonstrating the importance of energy issues to our foreign policy and national interests.

The Assistant Secretary will be responsible for developing and implementing policies to advance U.S. energy interests abroad by managing our relations in petroleum, natural gas, biofuels, renewable energy, nuclear and other energy resources.

This bill also requires the State Department to use diplomacy to support the development of U.S. energy resources to bolster our energy security, grow our economy, and support our allies.

Mr. Speaker, for years, the world’s leading petroleum producers have been rigging the world market by cutting production to drive up gasoline prices. This hurts families in places like my home state of California.

It’s in our interest to promote the availability of diversified energy supplies, and a functioning global market for energy resources, technologies, and expertise. And that’s exactly what this bill requires.

Energy policy expertise must be more deeply integrated in our foreign policy. As a major energy-producing nation, it is time we elevate this important issue within our diplomatic ranks, which is what this bill will do. I thank Chairman McCaul for his work on this important measure before us today.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill.”