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Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Updates


Jan 30, 2023
On the House Floor

E&C Republicans Commend Passing of H.R. 21 in the House

House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans advocated for strengthening the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) last week on the House Floor and successfully passed H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act , out of the House Friday by a bipartisan vote of 221-205.  H.R. 21 would prevent the SPR from being abused by the President through politically motivated, “non-emergency” sales, which will strengthen America’s energy security and ensure this strategic asset is available during true supply emergencies. Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and other committee members applauded bipartisan passage of H.R. 21 on Friday.  “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,” Chair Rodgers said. “H.R. 21 provides a path towards making energy more affordable and reliable for Americans by preserving the SPR’s vital and central purpose—to provide the oil supplies Americans need during true emergencies, not drain them away for non-emergency, political purposes. I am honored to join my Republican colleagues in passing this important bill to strengthen American energy security and leadership.”   “The Biden administration abused the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a political ploy in an attempt to hide the damage of its failed energy polices. The SPR was drained to a near 40 year low, leaving us vulnerable in the event of an emergency,” Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) said . “The Strategic Production Response Act will rein in the abuse of our reserves and set us on a path to empower energy producing states like North Dakota to provide reliable and needed energy,” said Congressman Armstrong.  “The Strategic Petroleum Reserve is intended for emergency use only. Evidently, the president’s idea of ‘strategy’ means using the SPR to evade the consequences of his own disastrous policies. This White House has issued no plan to restock the millions of barrels they have drained from our reserves, leaving the United States extremely vulnerable in the event of an actual emergency such as a natural disaster,” Rep. Rick Allen (R-GA) said . “American families are currently struggling through the worst energy crisis in decades. Instead of playing politics with the SPR, President Biden must flip the switch on domestic production and unleash American energy dominance. The Strategic Production Act will go a long way toward replenishing the fuel which this president has so thoughtlessly withdrawn, putting our national security at risk.”  Energy and Commerce Republican members joined Chair Rodgers on the House Floor to urge members to support H.R. 21 and end President Biden’s politicization of the SPR.   Check out these highlights from Energy and Commerce Republicans: 



Jan 27, 2023
On the House Floor

Chair Rodgers Applauds Passage of H.R. 21 to Protect the SPR

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) applauded the House passing H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act, which would help ensure the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is available during a true energy emergency and not abused for non-emergency, political purposes. “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. H.R. 21 provides a path towards making energy more affordable and reliable for Americans by preserving the SPR’s vital and central purpose—to provide the oil supplies Americans need during true emergencies, not drain them away for non-emergency, political purposes. I am honored to join my Republican colleagues in passing this important bill to strengthen American energy security and leadership.”



Jan 26, 2023
On the House Floor

Chair Rodgers Leads Floor Debate on H.R. 21

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) led debate on the House Floor today to promote H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act . Below are highlights and excerpts from her remarks: PLACING AMERICA OVER CHINA “Two weeks ago, this body sent a strong message that we must ensure our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) will not advance the energy interests of China over the energy security interests of Americans. “The bill today will help ensure this vital American energy asset – and American security interests — will not be drained away for non-emergency, political purposes. “This bill is about restoring America’s energy security. “It provides a path towards making energy more affordable for Americans, who are looking to us to help ease the pain at the pump. “H.R. 21 does this by preserving the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for its vital and central purpose — to provide the oil supplies Americans need during true emergencies: emergencies like supply disruptions that threaten the nation’s economy, or the loss of oil production due to hurricanes and other disasters. “Put simply, under this bill, if an administration chooses to use the reserve for non-emergency political purposes, it will first have to plan that an equal amount would be reinstated from American energy resources. “The SPR should be used as a tool of ‘last resort.’ This is sensible energy policy.” BIDEN JEOPARDIZING AMERICA’S ENERGY SECURITY “It is also urgent policy.  At present, the SPR’s ability to protect Americans has been put at risk by this administration. "More than 250 million barrels of oil, approximately 40% of the reserve, has been drawn down in less than two years - more than all former presidents in history, combined, all to cover up historically high gas prices in an election year. That's irresponsible. "The Biden administration has undermined our nation's ability to respond to true energy emergencies by mismanaging our nation's strategic energy stockpile. "At the same time, the Administration has taken every action to suppress America's mighty energy-production abilities. "Unbelievably, the Biden administration has turned to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to pump more oil instead of working to lift their regulatory restraints on American energy producers. "America's oil production and refining capacity remains one million barrels below peak levels under the prior administration. We have the world's most abundant resources and the capacity to product millions more barrels per day. “America should never be at the mercy of OPEC or Russia. “Energy security is economic security, it’s national security, it’s all connected. It’s foundational to everything.” UNLEASHING AMERICAN ENERGY AGENDA “We should be unleashing American energy on all fronts. “Don’t forget, the U.S. has some of highest environmental and labor standards in the world and we’ve been a leader in bringing down carbon emissions, we did this by embracing innovation and our abundant natural resources, not by shutting down entire industries. “Right now, America is suffering through the worst energy crisis in decades, and gas prices are still surging upwards. “President Biden and the Democrats’ radical ‘rush to green’ agenda has made life unaffordable for people across the country. “It has driven up inflation, strained household budgets, and weakened our electric grid and gas prices have risen to the highest levels in history. “Some were forced to pay more than $6 dollars per gallon. Gas prices are still 40% higher today and diesel prices are up almost $2 a gallon more than when President Biden took office. “It is time to flip the switch. It’s time to end the politically motivated abuse of the SPR and focus on American energy and American security. “Let’s send a strong signal this Congress that we stand for energy security, preserving the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, restoring America’s energy dominance, and providing for the prosperity of all Americans.”



Jan 25, 2023
In the News

On CNBC, Chair Rodgers Sets the Record Straight on H.R. 21

American energy security is fundamental House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Joe Kernan this morning to discuss how H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act , will improve our energy security and affordability, while discouraging the abuse of the reserve as an election-year gimmick. Below are highlights and excerpts from Chair Rodgers’ interview: FACT-CHECKING BIDEN ON H.R. 21 “Unfortunately, the Secretary and the administration have been misrepresenting the bill. The bill only addresses non-emergency use [of the SPR]. “This bill goes back to the importance of American energy security. It's our economic security. It's our national security. “The legislation that we passed in the House already and this second bill are both related to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This is a critical asset. It’s a national security asset and it's an economic asset for emergency uses.” […] “This bill requires the administration, when they deplete it, when they sell the reserves [for non-emergency sales], that they would have to develop a plan for domestic production to offset what they are selling from the reserve. It only applies to non-emergency situations.” BIDEN HAS ABUSED THE SPR FOR POLITICS “The administration, especially leading up to the election, depleted our reserve for political purposes and I believe it is important that they are transparent, and we are holding them accountable for that. “We passed the first bill (H.R. 22) that would prohibit any sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from going to China and we gained over 100 Democrats. “It was the largest bipartisan vote on an energy bill in years and I urge the Senate to take action on that.” […] “ The SPR is at the lowest levels in 40 years, we're down to 1983 levels. And now, what we're seeing since we're past the election, is that prices are going back up.” CHINA IS BENEFITING FROM BIDEN’S ACTIONS “What we're seeing is China has built up the largest [government-controlled] petroleum reserve in the world. They have been buying a lot of this oil on the open market. “We are requiring the administration to come up with a plan. So, if [the administration] reduces the SPR by 10%, they have to increase domestic production by 10%.” “We saw this administration go ask OPEC, go ask Venezuela, to produce more oil in order to help [with] the energy crisis that... their policies had brought us to. “What we're asking is for them to come up with a plan to increase domestic oil production. We have tremendous resources in the United States of America.” THE NEED FOR PERMITTING REFORM “The number one barrier to energy production in the United States is permitting in this regulatory climate. “Even at the end of last Congress, we heard Senator Manchin talking about the importance of permitting reform in the United States. “We need permitting reform and we're anxious to go to work on that.”



Chair Rodgers Responds to Granholm’s Baseless Claims About H.R. 21

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement regarding misleading statements made by Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm at yesterday's White House briefing on H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act.  “At a time when gas prices are on the rise, Secretary Granholm and the Biden administration need to be transparent with the American people about their efforts to cover up how they've abused the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as an election-year gimmick. Republicans want durable, long-lasting relief at the pump. The best way to do this is by unleashing American energy, which is what H.R. 21 accomplishes."  NOTE: Secretary Granholm made several claims at the White House on Monday about H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Act, that are false and misleading:  Secretary Granholm claims H.R. 21 would raise gas prices for Americans.   Fact: Average gas prices are up more than 30 cents nationwide from a month ago. The truth is that prices are still higher today than when President Biden first took office, and they’re going up. Millions of Americans are paying more at the pump as a result of the Biden administration’s radical “rush-to-green" agenda that has shut down American energy.  Secretary Granholm claims H.R. 21 would delay releasing oil in emergencies. Leaving prices at risk of rising in the wake of a market shock because of emergencies due to extreme weather events.   Fact: H.R. 21 would have no effect on DOE’s emergency authorities. It would only apply to “non-emergency” sales. So if the President declares an emergency resulting from an energy supply disruption, the Secretary would have full authority to utilize the SPR—H.R. 21 would not change or hamper that. However, if the President chooses to use the SPR without declaring an emergency—a “non-emergency” sale—then the Secretary of Energy must prepare a plan to increase domestic energy production. It is simply untrue to say H.R. 21 will raise gas prices for people. Rather, it discourages politically-motivated, “non-emergency” SPR sales and if the bill passes, it will increase the lands available for oil and gas production, which will make gas more affordable and improve our overall energy security.  Secretary Granholm claims H.R. 21 needlessly aims to weaken the strategic oil reserve‘s usefulness as a tool to ensure oil security in America.   Fact: The SPR is one of America’s most important strategic and national security assets and the Biden administration has drained it more than 40 percent in two years. This bill would only prevent this strategic asset from being abused by the President as an election-year gimmick to temporarily and artificially manipulate prices.  Secretary Granholm claims H.R. 21 would impose unnecessary, unhelpful restrictions on when the SPR can be used... require arbitrary reports regarding energy production... not offer tangible benefits to the American people... [and] interfere with the way they release oil.   Fact: There are no restrictions on DOE’s emergency authorities included in H.R. 21.  Secretary Granholm claims there is nothing standing in the way of domestic oil and gas production.   Fact: There are plenty of barriers to unleashing domestic oil and gas production, including burdensome regulations and this administration's discouragement of financial investment in domestic oil and gas industries. The U.S. continues to produce well below its peak production of 13 million barrels of oil a day in 2019. We need to unleash American energy with increased production and more pipeline capacity. 



Jan 24, 2023
Hearings

Chair Rodgers Announces First Energy and Commerce Hearing

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) announced the first hearing of the 118th Congress, which will focus on restoring American energy dominance and strengthening U.S. economic, environmental, and national security:  “Energy is foundational to everything, from our economic to our national security. It’s all connected, and the U.S. has consistently been at the forefront of energy innovation and technological breakthroughs, all while leading the world to reduce emissions. I look forward to convening this important first hearing to determine how we can restore American leadership by flipping the switch and unleashing American energy.” Full Committee Hearing Entitled “American Energy Expansion: Strengthening Economic, Environmental, and National Security.”   WHAT: A hearing to discuss the importance of restoring American energy dominance and strengthening U.S. economic, environmental, and national security.  DATE: Tuesday, January 31, 2023   TIME: 11:00 AM ET  LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building   WITNESSES: Witnesses will be announced and are by invitation only.   This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press, and will be livestreamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/ . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson with the Committee staff at Kaitlyn.Peterson@mail.house.gov



Jan 13, 2023
On the House Floor

E&C Republicans Lead Bipartisan Bill to Stop Biden Admin from Sending SPR to China

Washington, D.C. — Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans spoke on the House Floor yesterday in support of H.R. 22, the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act , which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support 331-97. Led by Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), the members condemned the Biden administration’s reckless depletion of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR)—which helped China build the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile—and demanded the administration work to unleash American energy. Chair Rodgers released the following statement following passage of H.R. 22: “To cover up his failed policies driving our energy and inflation crisis, President Biden is draining our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves at an alarming rate. America’s SPR – once the world’s largest stockpile – has been depleted to the lowest levels since 1983. To date, President Biden has released more from the SPR than all U.S. presidents in history combined. Millions of barrels of that oil have gone to China, which now has the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile of oil. Draining our strategic reserves for political purposes and selling it to China is a significant threat to our national and energy security. This must be stopped, which is why I’m proud to join my Republican colleagues in passing H.R. 22, one of the most bipartisan votes on an energy bill in many years and multiple Congresses. There’s more to come. This is just the beginning.” Below are highlights from E&C Members who spoke on the House floor in favor of H.R. 22: Rep. Michael Burgess, M.D. (R-TX): “The Republican majority is wasting no time in making good on our Commitment to the American People to reverse this reckless agenda that the Biden administration has followed. Republicans understand that energy policy is foundational to a thriving and dynamic national economy.” Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH) : “For the first two years of the Biden administration, we have seen an unprecedented level of hostility toward America’s energy producers. The administration has made every effort to undermine, avoid, and restrict oil and gas production in North America while at the same time moving to drain our strategic reserves in an attempt to offset the price increases caused by the President’s own policies.” Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY): “The problem we’re facing today is because of President Biden and the Democrats in Congress’ war on American oil. That’s the problem we’re here to address. The price of gasoline hit over $5 a gallon in the height of this war on oil. $4.80 a gallon in Kentucky when it was just over $2.20 when President Biden took office. American families are hurting because of this. Small business owners are hurting because of this, and they continue to struggle.” Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) : “Drawing down these reserves to cover up failed policies is wrong. But doing it and then selling that oil to China, our chief adversary, is un-American.” Rep. Bill Johnson (R-OH) : “This administration, who has put a stranglehold on domestic production by canceling pipelines, reducing drilling, halting leases, and proposing burdensome regulations, they’re now telling the American taxpayers, ‘sorry, we depleted your national reserves, sold some of it to China, and now we won’t refill it because it’s too expensive.’ Aren’t they the ones making oil more expensive? It’s as if President Biden thinks the SPR is his ‘Strategic Political Reserve’ to be used as a band aid for his failed energy policies.” Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) : “In an attempt to lower energy prices, the administration has sold millions of barrels of petroleum from our strategic reserve, depleting our own supply, and helping China to build the world’s largest crude oil reserve. This must stop.” Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA) : “President Biden has sold our valuable Strategic Petroleum Reserve to China while Americans face the highest energy prices in a generation and a federal government that has failed to adequately address it by unleashing our own energy potential. And every barrel sold to China makes that decision even more damaging.” Rep. Jeff Duncan (R-SC) : “For political purposes President Biden sold off a strategic asset of this nation. He started dumping oil out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, put it out there so that China could buy it, and China did buy it.” Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) : “Instead of utilizing the vast American resources we cleanly produce, including in Utah, the President chose to use this country’s strategic reserve to try to lower prices. On the other hand, in fact, the President did this while attacking energy jobs in Utah by suspending energy development on federal lands and raising the royalty to produce oil.” Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) : “While this administration has continued to shift blame for the rising prices, President Biden is draining our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, meant for emergencies, by selling off some of these reserves in a band aid solution for his policy failures.” Rep. John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA) : “Instead of incentivizing companies to use the resources that we have in Pennsylvania, Biden targeted American energy producers with new regulations that made natural gas and oil more expensive for American families.” Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) : “60 percent of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is housed in my district.” “SPR was not intended to be used as a political tool to bring down gasoline prices in an election year.” Rep. Troy Balderson (R-OH) : “Instead of supporting American energy producers and reversing their disastrous energy policies, the Biden administration decided to drain our energy reserves to the lowest levels since 1983. So who benefitted from this decision to drain these reserves? The Chinese Communist Party, now the largest government-controlled petroleum reserve in the world.”



Chair Rodgers Applauds Passage of H.R. 22 to Prevent the Sale of SPR Oil to China

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement on the passage of H.R. 22, the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act , out of the House, out of the House by a bipartisan vote of 331-97 : “To cover up his failed policies driving our energy and inflation crisis, President Biden is draining our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves at an alarming rate. America’s SPR – once the world’s largest stockpile – has been depleted to the lowest levels since 1983. To date, President Biden has released more from the SPR than all U.S. presidents in history combined. Millions of barrels of that oil have gone to China, which now has the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile of oil. Draining our strategic reserves for political purposes and selling it to China is a significant threat to our national and energy security. This must be stopped, which is why I’m proud to join my Republican colleagues in passing H.R. 22, one of the most bipartisan votes on an energy bill in many years and multiple Congresses. There’s more to come. This is just the beginning.”



Jan 12, 2023
On the House Floor

Chair Rodgers Speaks on House Floor to Protect America's Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) spoke on the House floor in favor of H.R. 22, the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act. Below are highlights and excerpts from her remarks: AMERICA’S ENERGY CRISIS “Mr. Speaker, I rise today in support of H.R. 22, the Protecting America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve from China Act. “America is suffering through the worst energy crisis in decades. “President Biden and the Democrats’ radical ‘rush to green’ agenda is making life unaffordable for people across the country. “It is driving record inflation, straining household budgets, and weakening our electric grid. “Under President Biden and the Democrats' control of Congress, gas prices rose to the highest levels in history. “Some were forced to pay more than $6 dollars per gallon. Gas prices are still 40% higher today and diesel prices are up almost $2 a gallon more than when President Biden took office. “The federal government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, especially when it makes us dangerously dependent on China for critical minerals, solar panels, and batteries to produce our own energy and electricity, and strengthens Russia and OPEC’s grip on world oil and gas markets.” POLITICALLY MOTIVATED SPR RELEASES BENEFIT CHINA “Now, to cover up his failed policies driving our energy and inflation crisis, President Biden is draining our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves at an alarming rate. “America’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve – once the world’s largest stockpile – has been depleted to the lowest levels since 1983. “President Biden released an unprecedented 250 million barrels of oil in less than two years, more than all former U.S. presidents in history combined. “And we know much of that oil went to China because our refineries and pipelines are full. It has nowhere to go here. “In April, the Biden administration sold a million barrels directly to a state-owned Chinese company. “Millions more barrels went to overseas traders who eventually sent it to China. “We also know that China is ramping up its purchases of crude oil from Russia and the U.S. to boost its own reserves. “China now likely controls the world’s largest government-controlled stockpile of oil, with almost a billion barrels, at the expense of American taxpayers and our energy security. “America’s SPR is meant for true energy supply disruptions, like those caused by hurricanes and natural disasters, not to help China. “Draining our strategic reserves for political purposes and selling portions of it to China is a significant threat to our national security. “The administration is not just hurting our own ability to respond to emergencies and national security events, they are actively bolstering the oil reserves of our most dangerous geopolitical adversary, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). “This is unacceptable and it must stop. “I urge my colleagues to support this bill and prohibit the sale and export of SPR crude oil to China. “H.R. 22 prevents the Secretary of Energy from selling any products from the SPR to any entity owned, under the control or influence of the CCP or selling to any other entity that intends to export to China.” FLIP THE SWITCH ON AMERICAN ENERGY “Enacting H.R. 22 and preventing the Biden administration from wasting our strategic reserves is the first step towards flipping the switch and unleashing American energy production. “America has led the world in reducing carbon emissions and promoting innovation by utilizing our abundant, clean, affordable, and reliable energy. “We can restore this leadership without sacrificing our energy security or making everyday life unaffordable for people. “That starts by enacting smart, workable, all of the above strategies that build on this legacy by lowering costs and emissions across the country. “It includes making our infrastructure and electricity grid more resilient, unleashing innovation for cleaner natural gas, emissions-free hydropower and nuclear power, and carbon capture technologies. “Republicans support a level playing field with a balance of energy sources, but without handing the keys to our energy future over to the Chinese Communist Party. “It’s time to cut the red tape and expand energy production here at home, modernize our infrastructure, invest in new technologies, and create new opportunities for jobs and economic development here at home. “I look forward to passage of this bill today and I am eager to get to work with my colleagues on additional solutions to make energy cleaner, more affordable, and more reliable for all Americans.”