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Leader Rodgers Calls For American Innovation to Lead, Not a Government Socialist Agenda


05.05.21

Washington, D.C. — Republican Leader for the House Energy and Commerce Committee Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following remarks today during an Energy Subcommittee hearing on Democrats’ radical electric vehicle mandates.

Excerpts and highlights from her prepared remarks:

AMERICAN INNOVATION

There are many exciting technologies under development that will help drive cleaner energy systems, protect our environment, expand economic opportunityand benefit families and workers.

That is the wonder  and the promise — of the American free enterprise system, and our culture of innovation, which is driven by consumer demand, not a government socialist agenda.

The fruits of free market innovation can be seen in all the amazing advances over the decades in our the transportation systems, like in the cars and trucks we drive.

This includes constantly improving performance, efficiency, and safety.

It also includes improving mobility, convenience, and comfort—all benefits people want and look for.

Think about the benefits of autonomous vehicle systems, which we’ve examined in this Committee.

AVs will mean more safety and more mobility, especially as these advances become more affordable to everyone, including seniors and people with disabilities.

Think about new powertrains  including EV powertrains  and the fuels, which are building upon our existing energy infrastructure and providing more efficient, cleaner, higher performing vehicles.

RUSH TO GREEN AND CALIFORNIA

Unfortunately, this free market innovation and its benefits are under assault by the compulsory rush to green schemes presented by the Majority and the Administration to address climate risks.

These schemes include regulatory regimes to drive reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from our transportation systems by restricting people’s options  regardless of technological capability or cost.

As usual, the leading edge of this assault is happening at the state level, led by California, with its aggressive renewable electricity mandates and vehicle standards.

Despite rapidly rising electricity rates, and a struggling, unreliable electric grid, California’s governor was unconvinced the state’s policies were enough to meet climate goals.

So last year he issued an order to restrict oil and gas production and to ban sales of gas-powered cars and light trucks by 2035.

Add the Biden Administration plans to drive electrification on aggressive timelines nationwide, and costs on families and workers will increase, as we’ve detailed in recent hearings.

THIS RADICAL AGENDA HURTS FAMILIES THE MOST

Today’s hearing concerns legislation to expand electric vehicle infrastructure, as part of the Majority’s radical climate agenda in its CLEAN Future Act.

Taken together with fossil energy restrictions in the broader bill, the polices today should be scrutinized to understand how it hurts security, innovation, affordability, and reliability.

All these consequences will hurt low and middle income families the most.

In hearings earlier this year, we discussed risks from replacing existing energy infrastructure with systems reliant mostly on wind and solar, batteries, and completely electric transportation.

All of us should be asking: what are the security impacts of the United States trading its strategic advantage in fossil energy for more reliance on supply chains from China?

What will weather dependent electricity systems mean for reliability and the rates people pay — like the working families of Eastern Washington?

What are the costly impacts on people who rely on gas-powered vehicles well into the future? What will happen to their costs?

Although the radical left does not like it, America is blessed with a sophisticated, and competitive fuels system, developed over nearly a century to serve our needs.

What are the benefits of working to foster continued innovations in this system and building on its attributes  even as electric vehicle innovations are developed and deployed?

As I’ve said before, we should build upon our energy systems, not dismantle them.

We should stop attacking the source of American innovation, stop trying to pick winners and losers.

We should recognize the essential role technological innovation and American free enterprise serves to address climate risks.”

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