House GOP Pursues Conservative Energy Agenda
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The new House Republican majority recently launched its oversight agenda of the Biden administration’s energy policy portfolio.
The chamber’s conservative climate caucus, led by Rep. John Curtis (R-Utah), announced its leadership team for the current session of Congress. For the next two years of the 118th Congress, the caucus will have a vice chairwoman in Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Iowa).
“Her expertise and perspective will be valuable as we continue to educate House Republicans on climate and energy issues,” Curtis said soon after his party began governing from the majority. “Mariannette has a near perfect attendance at caucus briefings and on sponsored trips, showing a clear interest and willingness to engage on these important issues and find the right answers.”
The chairman, a Natural Resources Committee member, continued: “With a new Congress and new leadership in the House, Republicans are committed to delivering solutions to the challenges of climate change.”
The caucus, formed two years ago, intends to focus on efforts meant to ensure the viability of domestic energy resources. Its members also endorse looking to domestic private sector stakeholders for resources on projects that would result in lower emissions and energy affordability. Per background, the caucus stated it “believes that fossil fuels can and should be a major part of the global solution to reducing emissions, and that the goal is to reduce emissions, not reduce energy choices.” The caucus also expressed a commitment to “bring Republicans to the table to fight against radical progressive climate proposals that would hurt our economy, American workers and national security.”
“I’m thrilled to join Chairman Curtis as vice chair of the conservative climate caucus,” Miller-Meeks said on Jan. 24. She is a member of the Energy and Commerce panel. “Iowa is leading the nation in the clean energy space, and I look forward to bringing that perspective to the table as we continue to promote sensible renewable energy solutions.”
The GOP agenda led by Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) proposes to evaluate the Biden administration’s reliance on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as well as its multiagency advancement of alternative energy technologies. House Republicans, governing via a razor-thin majority, have expressed an eagerness to review and examine energy and climate change plans from Democrats and the White House. Partisan differences linked to energy initiatives are expected to lead to legislative gridlock on Capitol Hill.
You can't attack the oil and gas industry, say you want to put them out of business, and then complain when gas prices go up.
It is critical for the SPR to be accessible to the most vulnerable citizens. #utpol pic.twitter.com/9iPcgPb5wF — Rep. John Curtis (@RepJohnCurtis) January 26, 2023
“President Biden has turned a longtime bipartisan strategic asset, the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, into a political tool to cover up the consequences of his expensive rush-to-green agenda,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chairwoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), soon after passage of legislation meant to ensure the reserve’s availability during certain energy emergencies or crises. She also sits on the conservative climate caucus.
On the Senate side, Wyoming Republican John Barrasso, a critic of the White House’s energy policies, introduced legislation with colleagues to ban sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China.
“It is long past time for America to unleash our energy and stop this foolishness coming from the administration that has us buying energy from our enemies instead of selling it to our friends,” Barrasso, a member of the upper chamber’s GOP leadership, said on Jan. 25. “We have an abundance of American energy, and the Democrats want to keep it buried in the ground.”
Added Barrasso, “For every American family who is struggling to make ends meet and is falling further behind because of the inflation caused by the Democrats’ spending, it is time to unleash American energy right now.”
“Given the significant price increases that U.S. consumers have endured over the past two years for gasoline and home heating oil, it is inexcusable that our emergency stockpile of crude oil is being sold to dictators overseas,” said Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), a co-sponsor of the Secure Auction for Energy Reserves, or SAFER, Act.
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The Biden administration kicked off the year by unveiling a blueprint for advancing climate change and clean energy initiatives. As Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge noted last month: “HUD is proud to join our federal partners at Energy, [Department of Transportation] and [Environmental Protection Agency] to ensure that clean transportation investments are made equitably and include communities and households that have been most harmed by environmental injustice.”
EPA Administrator Michael Regan observed, “At EPA, our priority is to protect public health, especially in overburdened communities, while advancing the president’s ambitious climate agenda. This blueprint is a step forward in delivering on those goals and accelerating the transition to a clean transportation future.”