Cruz looks beyond Keystone XL

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Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) is shifting his focus to the nation's energy policy, starting on Monday.

At the Heritage Action for America's Conservative Policy Summit in Washington, D.C., on Monday, Cruz will make the case that, while President Obama should approve the Keystone XL pipeline, Republicans need to come up with other ideas to expand the country's energy production.

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Aides to Cruz told The Washington Post the senator is drafting a bill called the American Energy Renaissance Act, which he will announce at the event on Monday.

"There is only one thing that will stop us from embracing it to its full potential: the federal government," Cruz plans to say, according to prepared remarks provided by aides to the Post. "Nothing else will stop the next generation of American energy pioneers. It won’t be lack of determination, ingenuity, or grit. It will be some faceless bureaucrat sitting somewhere in some tall building who simply says, 'You’re not allowed to do that.' Or worse, 'We’ll do that for you.'"

"Yes, President Obama should drop his political opposition to the Keystone pipeline," Cruz will say. "But we also need to think bigger than Keystone. We need an energy policy that goes beyond Keystone. Here we stand with our toes at the edge of an energy revolution that could sweep the nation, providing an untold number of new opportunities and well-paying jobs."

Cruz will also push for more offshore oil exploration, increasing development on federal lands, scaling back restrictions on hydraulic fracturing, ending the crude export ban and fighting the Environmental Protection Agency's regulations on coal-fired power plants.

Cruz's plans are not all popular, and many have already failed in previous years, like drilling in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and granting control of federal lands to states. Cruz also aims to tackle the renewable fuel standard, established during the George W. Bush administration.

Perhaps the least surprising element of his plan is the coming fight against Obama's climate regulations on coal-fired power plants and carbon emissions. The regulations might already be a tough sell on Capitol Hill, with vulnerable Democrats facing reelection in November, but that won't stop Cruz or the GOP from scrutinizing every element behind the rules.

Following Cruz's announcement of his war against the administration's climate regulations, the House GOP will start dissecting them on Tuesday during a hearing on the clean-coal technologies supporting the rule. And later this week, House Republicans will hold a hearing on the "secret science" upon which they say the rules are built.

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