House Republicans fired a warning shot Tuesday at Democrats’ climate change agenda, cautioning that the days of the clean energy sector receiving major favorable treatment from the federal government over that of fossil fuels is over in the GOP-controlled chamber.
The shot across the bow from House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers came in the wake of soaring U.S. energy costs and on the heels of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act that included $360 billion in tax credits to ditch oil and natural gas to electrify the economy.
“Across the board, we need to update the regulatory landscape to pave the way for energy sources and technologies of all kinds: hydropower, nuclear, natural gas and oil, hydrogen, along with wind, solar and batteries,” the Washington Republican said during the panel’s first hearing in the new Congress. “Republicans support all of these technologies, but we do not support picking winners and losers through massive subsidies and rigging regulations to favor certain industries.”
The all-of-the-above energy approach holds true to campaign promises from House Republicans to combat rising energy costs while teeing up clashes with the Biden administration and the Democratic-led Senate. The Republican-controlled House has passed two energy-related bills in its first few weeks designed to curb the president’s power over the country’s emergency oil reserves.
Those measures “have only demonstrated just how misguided and misplaced [Republicans’] priorities are,” said Rep. Frank Pallone of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the committee.
“Moving toward clean energy is the future and the only way we’re going to have less dependence on dictators and less volatility in the market. Both these bills were an attempt to try to give more opportunities to Big Oil,” Mr. Pallone said. “Republicans have pushed this idea that somehow Big Oil wanted to pump more but couldn’t. In reality, they wanted to keep the price artificially high.”
House Republicans plan to slowly pass a six-pillar agenda that they argue are pragmatic solutions to provide a gradual shift to renewables without causing fossil fuel prices to spike. It’s hard to imagine the measures garnering much — if any — support from Democrats and becoming law. They accuse Republicans of pandering to Big Oil.
The House GOP’s energy and climate agenda includes more domestic energy production of all forms, slashing environmental red tape for renewable and fossil fuel projects, achieving energy independence, critical minerals development and exporting more liquefied natural gas, conserving the environment and fortifying communities against natural disasters.
“I was disturbed that the majority memo [on the committee’s jurisdiction] didn’t mention renewable energy sources one single time and instead doubled down on, frankly, outdated policies advocating increased fossil fuel production, which will impede U.S. energy independence and ironically make us more dependent on an unstable international market,” said Rep. Diana DeGette, Colorado Democrat.