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Leader Rodgers Talks About the Need for a Clean Energy Future That Doesn’t Destroy the Economy


04.20.21

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Republican Leader Cathy McMorris Rodgers delivered opening remarks at Tuesday’s Energy Subcommittee hearing.

Excerpts and highlights from her prepared remarks:

JOBS, RELIABILITY & INNOVATION

Making sure people have access to affordable, reliable energy must remain a priority in this Committee’s work on energy policy.

We must recognize the tremendous value of our existing energy systemits central role for expanding economic growth and spreading opportunity.

The evidence is in plain sight.

The shale revolution has brought tremendous opportunities and America’s energy renaissance.

This has revitalized communities, with hundreds of billions in economic activity, thousands of new jobs.

It’s meant the equivalent of about $2,500 extra in the average family’s annual budget— with low-income households benefiting the most from reduced energy burdens.

It’s raised the promise of a better quality of life for families along the Ohio River Valley— in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia.

It’s increased opportunity through Texas, New Mexico and from Wyoming to California— helping people of all incomes.

To continue to address energy poverty and climate risks, Republicans seek to build on these current achievements in energy and economic opportunity.

We also want to keep electricity rates low.

I’ve noted in several recent hearings the Department of Energy data on energy poverty, and how new regulatory regimes will raise electricity rates and stretch a family budget’s last dollar.

Instead, we should foster the innovative energy technologies that will reduce emissions while using all our resources including, hydropower, natural gas, nuclear—as outlined in E&C Republicans’ Securing Cleaner American Energy agenda.

Many of the Securing Cleaner American Energy bills are included in the Energy Innovation Agenda launched just this week by House Republicans.

The Energy Innovation Agenda focuses on innovation, clean energy, and conservation policies for tackling climate change risks, building energy infrastructure, and developing new technologies.

Because to win the future, we should be about building, not dismantling American opportunity.

A REAL CLEAN FUTURE

Unfortunately, dismantling is a feature of the Democrats’ CLEAN Future Act and the Administration’s job-crushing agenda.

The rush-to-green undermines many of the goals we all share to address energy poverty.

For example, the CLEAN Future Act would restrict permitting for the kind of projects that provide good jobs and raise community prosperity.

They would restrict natural gas development and supply essential to jobs, low electricity rates, and even the expansion of renewable energy.

Provisions in the CLEAN Future Act also would force top-down  Federal requirements on state regulation of hydraulic fracturing – dismantling the pro-innovation regulatory approach that helped drive the shale revolution.

Two witnesses this morning—Jose Perez of Hispanics In Energy and Louise Carter-King, Mayor of Gillette Wyoming— will talk about the trillions of dollars of new economic opportunity in our oil and gas development and how this American resource fits into a cleaner energy future that benefits everyone.

The pace of transformation  in the Majority’s bills makes no time for the practical reality of ensuring the lights stay on when people most need it.

CALIFORNIA’S DOWNFALL AND FAILURES

California’s downfall remains the case study for what can go wrong here.

Its unrealistic decarbonization policies have driven the growth of weather-dependent solar and wind resources, and shuttered natural gas, nuclear, and other traditional generators, all while driving electricity rates up.

California state policies essentially dismantled large amounts of the baseload and dispatchable generation needed when wind and solar come up short.

A recent review by the National Regulatory Research Institute shows California’s green dreams have created a huge resource gap that undermines reliable delivery of energy.

Much of the solar resources encouraged by state policies are outside the control of system operators, sitting behind the meter on customer rooftops.

When the sun goes down and energy demand goes up, all those homes that enjoyed inexpensive power during the day, come onto the California grid in a huge demand spike.

We saw this summer what happens when the resources are not available to meet the spike.

California’s experiment shows the relentless rush to accommodate decarbonization goals can backfire.

Republican policies led to an American energy renaissance that created jobs, decreased emissions, and increased our security. Following California and the CLEAN Future Act will take us back to the dark ages.

We must avoid following California’s path and instead focus our policy efforts on ensuring affordable and reliable energy, the resources and innovations to accomplish that and the American energy workers who keep the lights on.

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