Energy, Climate, & Grid Security

Subcommittee

Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, & Grid Security

National Energy Policy, energy infrastructure and security, energy related Agencies and Commissions, all laws, programs, and government activities affecting energy matters. National Energy Policy focuses on fossil energy; renewable energy; nuclear energy; energy conservation, utility issues, including but not limited to interstate energy compacts; energy generation, marketing, reliability, transmission, siting, exploration, production, efficiency, cybersecurity, and ratemaking for all generated power. Energy infrastructure and security focuses on pipelines, the strategic petroleum reserve, nuclear facilities, and cybersecurity for our nation’s grid. Our jurisdiction also includes all aspects of the above-referenced jurisdiction related to the Department of Homeland Security. Agencies and Commissions in our jurisdiction include: The US Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission; and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Subcommittees News & Announcements


Feb 21, 2024
Letter

Chairs Rodgers and Duncan Probe FERC on Grid Reliability Implications of Breaching the Lower Snake River Dams

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) sent a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chair Willie L. Phillips and the other Commissioners regarding the threats to the reliability of the electric grid if the Lower Snake River dams were breached and whether FERC was involved in President Biden’s efforts to breach the Lower Snake River dams.  KEY QUOTE:   "We are concerned that the Biden administration failed to consider the impact of dam breaches on electric reliability when conducting its secret negotiations. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should have been involved in these discussions in order to ensure misguided policies do not further undermine grid reliability. The Lower Snake River dams provide over 3,000 MW of affordable nameplate capacity that communities in the western United States depend on for reliability and resource adequacy.   "As noted in responses to our letter dated December 29, 2023, Chairman Phillips stated that 'we cannot, as a country, afford to retire resources on which we depend for reliability without ensuring that they are replaced with sufficient resources to meet resource adequacy and other system needs.' This includes the affordable, dispatchable, and renewable hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin that millions of Americans depend on for reliability. In fact, during the most recent cold snap in the Pacific Northwest, federal dams, including the Lower Snake River dams, 'were vital to keeping the lights on' by producing over 1,000 MW of electricity each day to help BPA and the region meet high demands. BACKGROUND:   Dams along the Columbia Snake River system provide more than one third of all the hydropower capacity in the United States. In Washinton State, hydropower accounts for 70 percent of the electricity consumed.  The dams helped transform Eastern Washington into one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world—over $3 billion worth of cargo is shipped on the Columbia Snake River System every year, including 40 percent of America’s wheat.  Despite the importance of the dams, the Biden administration has been leading secret negotiations with other federal agencies in an attempt to breach the Lower Snake River dams. In the process, they’ve ignored the concerns of people who live in the Pacific Northwest and who would be significantly impacted if these dams were breached.  Members asked Chair Phillips to answer the following questions by March 6, 2024: Was FERC consulted as part of the Columbia River Basin negotiations to examine or explain the impacts on electric reliability relating to the commitments contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)? Was FERC included in these negotiations in any capacity to assess the impacts to affordability, reliability, and resource adequacy in the western United States? Please describe any communications you have had with BPA, CEQ, the White House, or any other federal entity during the Columbia River Basin negotiation process.  Will FERC coordinate with other Federal entities, like BPA and the administration, to examine the reliability impacts of the potential loss of dispatchable, clean, renewable hydroelectric power in the west as the MOU is implemented?  How does FERC consider the negative impacts of policies that displace reliable generation when fulfilling its mission to safeguard reliability? How is FERC assessing the cumulative effects of state policies that impact wholesale system spanning multiple states and entire interconnections?  On January 30, 2024, Mr. Jeremiah Baumann from the Department of Energy (DOE) testified before the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security hearing. During the hearing, Mr. Baumann was asked about replacing the electric generation that would be lost if the four Lower Snake River dams were breached. Mr. Baumann said “[Y]ou can use sort of existing off-the-shelf emissions-free technology like wind, solar, and current batteries for a big chunk, but then for the last bit, you really do need other technologies like hydrogen, something that is going to be that 24./7 dispatchable piece, and right now those are very expensive and hard to develop.” Do you agree with DOE’s assessment of the need for dispatchable replacement capacity if the Lower Snake River dams are breached? What cost-effective and commercially available technology would be the most efficient dispatchable replacement for the Lower Snake River dams?  The Columbia River Basin MOU describes several replacement energy resources for the hydroelectricity from the dams, including distributed energy resources, efficiency measures, demand response, and other generation, storage, and transmission resources. Do you consider those adequate replacements for the over 3,000 MW of dispatchable nameplate capacity from the Lower Snake River dams? What quantity, in MW, of distributed energy resources, efficiency measures, demand response, and other generation is needed to replace the capacity, energy, and essential reliability services provided by the dams? Can these replacement resources provide comparable quality and quantity of these services? What effect will this have on energy prices and capacity contracts for consumers in the region? Would you consider the total costs for replacement resources just and reasonable when they are higher than they otherwise would be with these dispatchable resources still in service? How will the loss of the dams and the characteristics of the proposed replacement resources affect system capabilities needs, especially during peak periods? CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Feb 16, 2024
Blog

E&C Republicans Lead Bipartisan Passage of Bill to Reverse President Biden’s LNG Export Ban

This week, the House passed H.R. 7176, the Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act, to reverse President Biden’s U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) export ban. Unleashing American LNG will lower energy costs, advance U.S. energy security and the security of our allies, as well as reduce emissions. The bill, led by Energy and Commerce Member Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 224 to 200. As Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) said , “President Biden’s decision to impose a ban on issuing permits to export natural gas is just the latest example of his administration caving to environmental activists and putting politics over the American people. This ban will harm the American economy, jeopardize good paying jobs, weaken our energy security, and threaten the security of our friends and allies.” Rep. Pfluger added , “President Biden’s ban on LNG is radically short-sighted when it comes to the environmental risk. Clean natural gas is a major reason why the U.S. has reduced emissions more than any other nation.” Don't miss this from Fox Business:



Feb 15, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers on the House Floor: We Must Reverse President Biden’s LNG Export Ban

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following remarks on the House Floor during debate of H.R. 7176, the Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act of 2024 . The legislation, led by Rep. August Pfluger (R-TX), will reverse President Biden’s liquified natural gas (LNG) export ban and unleash American LNG to lower energy costs, advance U.S. energy security and the security of our allies, as well as reduce emissions.  “I rise today in support of H.R. 7176, the ‘Unlocking our Domestic LNG Potential Act of 2024,’ introduced by my friend Representative August Pfluger. “President Biden’s decision to impose a ban on issuing permits to export natural gas is just the latest example of his administration caving to environmentalist activists and putting politics over the American people.   “This ban will harm the American economy, jeopardize good paying jobs, weaken our energy security, and it threatens the security of our friends and allies. “America has become the number one producer and exporter of liquefied natural gas in the world.  “This has strengthened our economy, reduced costs for the American people, and enabled the United States to lead in reducing emissions more than any other nation, both here at home and abroad. “American LNG has been a lifeline, especially our European allies, since Russia invaded Ukraine. “Since the invasion, American LNG has helped them reduce their natural gas prices by over 83% and reduce their dependence on Russia.  “President Biden’s ban sends a signal to our allies that we’re no longer a dependable energy partner. “This is unacceptable. “H.R. 7176 will immediately reverse the President’s decision, allowing the U.S. to export more and encouraging domestic production here at home, which will then reduce American energy supply vulnerabilities. “This will reduce American energy supply vulnerabilities and encourage investments in other industries, like manufacturing. “Some estimate that LNG exports could add as much as $73 billion to our economy and more than 450,000 American jobs by 2040. “LNG is vital to America’s energy leadership, our security, and our future.  “I urge my colleagues to support this bill.”  READ MORE:  Biden’s LNG Export Ban is Based on Politics, Not Science   Myth vs. Fact: Biden's LNG Export Ban   E&C Republicans: President Biden's LNG Export Ban is Reckless and Politically Motivated   More than 150 House Republicans Demand Biden End His De Facto Ban on American LNG Exports   Biden’s LNG Export Ban is a Gift to Putin Chair Rodgers Rebukes Biden’s Decision to Indefinitely Pause LNG Exports


Subcommittee Members

(29)

Chairman Energy, Climate, and Grid Security

Jeff Duncan

R

South Carolina – District 3

Vice Chair Energy, Climate, and Grid Security

John Curtis

R

Utah – District 3

Ranking Member Energy, Climate, and Grid Security

Diana DeGette

D

Colorado – District 1

Michael Burgess

R

Texas – District 26

Bob Latta

R

Ohio – District 5

Brett Guthrie

R

Kentucky – District 2

Morgan Griffith

R

Virginia – District 9

Larry Bucshon, M.D.

R

Indiana – District 8

Tim Walberg

R

Michigan – District 5

Gary Palmer

R

Alabama – District 6

Debbie Lesko

R

Arizona – District 8

Greg Pence

R

Indiana – District 6

Kelly Armstrong

R

North Dakota - At Large

Randy Weber

R

Texas – District 14

Troy Balderson

R

Ohio – District 12

August Pfluger

R

Texas – District 11

Cathy McMorris Rodgers

R

Washington – District 5

Scott Peters

D

California – District 50

Lizzie Fletcher

D

Texas – District 7

Doris Matsui

D

California – District 7

Paul Tonko

D

New York – District 20

Marc Veasey

D

Texas – District 33

Ann Kuster

D

New Hampshire – District 2

Kim Schrier

D

Washington – District 8

Kathy Castor

D

Florida – District 14

John Sarbanes

D

Maryland – District 3

Tony Cardenas

D

California – District 29

Lisa Blunt Rochester

D

Delaware

Frank Pallone

D

New Jersey – District 6

Recent Letters


Feb 21, 2024
Letter

Chairs Rodgers and Duncan Probe FERC on Grid Reliability Implications of Breaching the Lower Snake River Dams

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) sent a letter to Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Chair Willie L. Phillips and the other Commissioners regarding the threats to the reliability of the electric grid if the Lower Snake River dams were breached and whether FERC was involved in President Biden’s efforts to breach the Lower Snake River dams.  KEY QUOTE:   "We are concerned that the Biden administration failed to consider the impact of dam breaches on electric reliability when conducting its secret negotiations. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) should have been involved in these discussions in order to ensure misguided policies do not further undermine grid reliability. The Lower Snake River dams provide over 3,000 MW of affordable nameplate capacity that communities in the western United States depend on for reliability and resource adequacy.   "As noted in responses to our letter dated December 29, 2023, Chairman Phillips stated that 'we cannot, as a country, afford to retire resources on which we depend for reliability without ensuring that they are replaced with sufficient resources to meet resource adequacy and other system needs.' This includes the affordable, dispatchable, and renewable hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin that millions of Americans depend on for reliability. In fact, during the most recent cold snap in the Pacific Northwest, federal dams, including the Lower Snake River dams, 'were vital to keeping the lights on' by producing over 1,000 MW of electricity each day to help BPA and the region meet high demands. BACKGROUND:   Dams along the Columbia Snake River system provide more than one third of all the hydropower capacity in the United States. In Washinton State, hydropower accounts for 70 percent of the electricity consumed.  The dams helped transform Eastern Washington into one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world—over $3 billion worth of cargo is shipped on the Columbia Snake River System every year, including 40 percent of America’s wheat.  Despite the importance of the dams, the Biden administration has been leading secret negotiations with other federal agencies in an attempt to breach the Lower Snake River dams. In the process, they’ve ignored the concerns of people who live in the Pacific Northwest and who would be significantly impacted if these dams were breached.  Members asked Chair Phillips to answer the following questions by March 6, 2024: Was FERC consulted as part of the Columbia River Basin negotiations to examine or explain the impacts on electric reliability relating to the commitments contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)? Was FERC included in these negotiations in any capacity to assess the impacts to affordability, reliability, and resource adequacy in the western United States? Please describe any communications you have had with BPA, CEQ, the White House, or any other federal entity during the Columbia River Basin negotiation process.  Will FERC coordinate with other Federal entities, like BPA and the administration, to examine the reliability impacts of the potential loss of dispatchable, clean, renewable hydroelectric power in the west as the MOU is implemented?  How does FERC consider the negative impacts of policies that displace reliable generation when fulfilling its mission to safeguard reliability? How is FERC assessing the cumulative effects of state policies that impact wholesale system spanning multiple states and entire interconnections?  On January 30, 2024, Mr. Jeremiah Baumann from the Department of Energy (DOE) testified before the Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security hearing. During the hearing, Mr. Baumann was asked about replacing the electric generation that would be lost if the four Lower Snake River dams were breached. Mr. Baumann said “[Y]ou can use sort of existing off-the-shelf emissions-free technology like wind, solar, and current batteries for a big chunk, but then for the last bit, you really do need other technologies like hydrogen, something that is going to be that 24./7 dispatchable piece, and right now those are very expensive and hard to develop.” Do you agree with DOE’s assessment of the need for dispatchable replacement capacity if the Lower Snake River dams are breached? What cost-effective and commercially available technology would be the most efficient dispatchable replacement for the Lower Snake River dams?  The Columbia River Basin MOU describes several replacement energy resources for the hydroelectricity from the dams, including distributed energy resources, efficiency measures, demand response, and other generation, storage, and transmission resources. Do you consider those adequate replacements for the over 3,000 MW of dispatchable nameplate capacity from the Lower Snake River dams? What quantity, in MW, of distributed energy resources, efficiency measures, demand response, and other generation is needed to replace the capacity, energy, and essential reliability services provided by the dams? Can these replacement resources provide comparable quality and quantity of these services? What effect will this have on energy prices and capacity contracts for consumers in the region? Would you consider the total costs for replacement resources just and reasonable when they are higher than they otherwise would be with these dispatchable resources still in service? How will the loss of the dams and the characteristics of the proposed replacement resources affect system capabilities needs, especially during peak periods? CLICK HERE to read the full letter. 



Feb 5, 2024
Letter

More than 150 House Republicans Demand Biden End His De Facto Ban on American LNG Exports

Washington, D.C. — More than 150 Republicans, led by Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), sent a letter to President Biden lambasting him for his de facto ban on U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports, a decision that jeopardizes the stability and affordability of natural gas domestically, hurts the American economy and jobs, undercuts our allies, and strengthens our adversaries. AS FIRST REPORTED BY FOX NEWS: More than 150 House Republicans are calling for President Biden to reverse his moratorium on liquefied natural gas (LNG) export projects, an action they argued negatively impacts the energy security of the U.S. and its allies.   The Republican lawmakers — led by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and joined by House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-La., Majority Leader Steve Scalise, R-La., and Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y. — penned a letter to Biden on Sunday evening, demanding his administration "expeditiously approve all pending applications to increase the global supply of natural gas."   KEY LETTER QUOTE: We write regarding the announcement that the Department of Energy (DOE) will stop issuing indefinitely permits to export liquefied natural gas (LNG) while your administration conducts an additional “public interest” review, including environmental, economic, and environmental justice criteria. This is economically and strategically dangerous and unnecessary. Under both Democratic and Republican administrations, DOE has consistently found that U.S. LNG exports serve the “public interest” because they contribute positive economic benefits and strengthen energy security for the American people, and also have the potential to reduce global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. BACKGROUND: On January 26, President Biden froze the approval process for new U.S. LNG export sites, prioritizing the wishes of radical activists over U.S. energy security and the security of our allies. Studies show that LNG exports could add upwards of $73 billion to the U.S. economy by 2040, create upwards of 453,000 American jobs, and increase U.S. held purchasing power by $30 billion.   Over the past seven years, the U.S. has increased its LNG export capacity from zero to 11.6 billion cubic feet per day. During the same period, the spot price of U.S. natural gas has remained relatively stable and affordable.  These actions will weaken global energy security, halt investment in American energy, and jeopardize U.S. energy leadership.  CLICK HERE to read the full letter.  CLICK HERE to read more on how President Biden’s efforts jeopardize American jobs, energy prices, the economy, and the security of our allies. 



Jan 29, 2024
Press Release

Chairs of Energy and Commerce, Science, and Natural Resources Committees Open Investigation into Chinese Influence in American Energy and Environmental Policy

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), House Science, Space, and Technology Committee Chair Frank Lucas (R-OK), and House Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-AR) sent a letter to Energy Foundation China (EFC) President Zi Chou, requesting documents related to grants and financial resources provided to American organizations. The request comes after reports that EFC is funneling money to support US-based climate initiatives.  KEY LETTER EXCERPT :  “ China could greatly improve its economic and geopolitical position should renewable energy resource use and electrification increase in the United States . China dominates global renewable energy product supply chains, such as those for batteries, solar panels, and electrolyzers. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence also observed, 'China is central to global supply chains in a range of technology sectors, including semiconductors, critical minerals, batteries, solar panels, and pharmaceuticals.' It concluded, 'China’s dominance in these markets could pose a significant risk to U.S. and Western manufacturing and consumer sectors if the Government of China was able to adeptly leverage its dominance for political or economic gain.’ China has already attempted to influence United States policy and opinion regarding China through covert influence and exploit perceived societal divisions. As such, we are alarmed by reports of China-affiliated organizations attempting to influence United States energy policy. ”  BACKGROUND :  EFC is a Beijing-headquartered organization with a stated mission of furthering China’s sustainable energy development and employs staff with significant ties to the Chinese Government.  EFC’s President and CEO previously served as Deputy Director General of China’s National Center for Climate Change Strategy and International Cooperation, under the Chinese government’s National Development and Reform Commission.  EFC’s Environmental Management Program director, Mr. Liu Xin, previously served as Deputy Director of the Regional Air Quality Management Division of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau.  Prior to 2019, the organization operated jointly with the United States Energy Foundation.  EFC has awarded substantial funding to other organizations seeking to shape United States energy policy.  According to tax records, in 2021, EFC provided $195,000 to the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) “to support education, analysis, and outreach to build a clean energy future.”  In 2021, EFC also gave the Rocky Mountain Institute (RMI) $820,000 to, among other things, “support education and analysis to phase out coal.”  The RMI has produced a study that it and other advocates for electrification have cited in pushing to eliminate the use of gas stoves.  The Department of Energy cited this study in one of its recent energy efficiency proposed rulemakings, and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm also posted it to her account on X, formerly known as Twitter, stating that Americans would have greater access to electric and induction cooktops.   CLICK HERE to read the full letter.