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Leader Rodgers Remarks During Energy Subcommittee Hearing on Affordability and Reliability


10.21.21

Washington, D.C. — Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered remarks in today’s Energy Subcommittee hearing on how President Biden’s reckless energy agenda has led to higher energy costs for families, that will only get worse this winter.

Excerpts and highlights from her prepared remarks:

RECKLESS AGENDA

“[W]e should first take a hard look at what is happening now with energy prices.

The worry and discussion about rising costs is happening around every kitchen table in American today.

“Across the world over the past month, post-COVID economic forces and a radical agenda for the Green New Deal  are driving up energy costs.

“In the United Kingdom – where they are betting heavily on offshore wind – a sudden loss of wind for electricity generation helped spike natural gas prices to record levels in September.

“Increasing energy and power prices rippling through economies of the UK and Europe and it’s raised the costs for goods and services, especially household energy—just in time for winter months.

“What’s happening in Europe should provide a powerful reminder of the dangers of both tight fuel supplies, dependency on Russia, and weather-dependent energy.

“These reckless policies hurt peoples’ health and welfare.”

HOUSEHOLDS ARE PAYING MORE FOR ENERGY

“U.S. households are not escaping this energy crisis.

“Committee Republican’s reminded the Secretary of Energy last week that over the past year-and-a-half: retail gasoline prices have almost doubled, natural gas prices have almost tripled, electric rates continue to increase, and propane prices—so critical for many households—have skyrocketed by 552 percent.

“Meanwhile, as the President and his Cabinet prepares to jet off to the Glasgow climate conference with celebrities, the Energy Information Administration forecasts that households will pay significantly more this winter as energy and power prices continue to rise.

“Families are already being stretched thin by Biden’s inflation crisis.

“What will they do when their $746 heating and natural gas bills pile up this winter?

“These are Biden’s bills for keeping natural gas in the ground and lurching to unreliable energy sources like wind that aren’t affordable for families.

“Unaffordable energy costs from global supply chain disruptions and COVID-related demand shocks have only been accelerated by the perpetual anti-fossil-fuel agenda of this Administration, including the President’s decision to cancel Keystone and issue a moratorium on federal drilling.

“And it is not just high prices that harm working families and our prosperity.

“Electricity reliability problems are a growing concern, as people in California and Texas are painfully aware.

“The North American Electric Reliability Corporation is reporting the increasing risks of brownouts, not only in California or Texas, but the Midwest and New England if there is a harsh spike in demand.

“In short, an electricity reliability crisis is unfolding across large regions of the country.

“And much of this can be traced to state environmental and federal regulatory policies from renewable energy standards to electricity market regulatory structures that drive out traditional baseload generation assets.”

AFFORDABILITY AND RELIABILITY

“All of this should focus our attention on what really matters, which is: what is necessary to ensure affordable, reliable power for hard working families and communities now, and in the future?

“What can we do about the current energy crises? And how will the Democrat’s radical agenda to take over our electricity grid and rush renewable energy hurt prices, security, and reliability?

“These should be central to our questions today.

“We must reset our energy discussions to focus on the very real affordability and reliability crises that are confronting people, especially the middle class, today.

“To be sure, we should try to understand the Biden Administration’s agenda to accelerate the build out of offshore wind generation.

“The unprecedented pace and scale of these plans promise industrial development, but also raise many practical questions about affordable, reliable power.

“We should be learning from Europe, not copy its failures.

“So, I welcome the witnesses. And I’d like to welcome especially Mark Menezes, former Deputy Secretary of Energy, and alumni of this Committee’s staff.

“Given his experience, I’m sure he can help us explore the really pressing issues people care about and put into context what is necessary to ensure affordable, reliable energy today and an innovative and prosperous future.”

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