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McKinley Remarks at Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Hearing on Securing America’s Energy Future


03.18.21

Washington, D.C.—House Energy and Commerce Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee Republican Leader David McKinley delivered opening remarks at Thursday’s hearing on securing America’s energy future.

Excerpts and highlights from his remarks:

ON THE DEMOCRATS’ CLEAN ENERGY PLAN

“During the Vietnam war an American general was paraphrased saying he had “to destroy the town to save it.” It reminds me of the motivation behind this proposal. The goal of the act is to decarbonize the U.S. Economy by 2050: Net-zero emissions in power sector by 2035, 80% by 2030.

In so doing, we will destroy livelihoods, disrupt families, decimate communities, increase utility bills, threaten the stability of the grid, and we would still have the effects of climate change, since the rest of the world isn’t following suit.

“Look, we agree, we need to work to reduce carbon emissions, but we also need to understand the consequences before we rush into such a punishing act.

“Let’s keep in mind, last year 60% of our power came from coal, gas, and oil. Is it reasonable to undertake this total transformation of the electric grid in less than 14 years, or even 9 years?

“Look at solar energy, they’re predicting quadrupling capacity in the next ten years. This means increasing from 2.3% to 9% of the mix. Remember coal and gas represent 60%. According to the utilities we’ve consulted, decarbonizing our power sector by 2035 – and 80% by 2030 – would take a miracle.

ON PROTECTING ENERGY JOBS

And at what cost? It will increase costs for families with higher utility bills. According to the institute for energy research, $2000 per household annually. It will destroy jobs, not just coal miners and pipeliners, but all the secondary jobs that rely on them: Railroads, barges, machinists, fabricators.

“Where will these workers go – many of whom are making $70k, $80k, $100k? We get vague promises about making solar panels or wind mills. About these promises, Terry O’Sullivan, president of laborers, said:

‘it’s pie in the sky bulls— about these green jobs being good middle-class jobs, because they’re not.’

“As a result, single industry towns like Welch, West Virginia, Gillette, Wyoming, Hazard, Kentucky, Cadiz, Ohio, will be crushed.”

ON GRID RESILIENCE

Not to mention we will be left with a grid that is far less reliable and resilient with more frequent blackouts.

“Didn’t we learn anything from California and Texas about how fragile our grid is? And for what gain? Even if America totally decarbonizes, the rest of the world is still increasing its consumption of fossil fuels. We will still have wildfires, droughts and flooding, hurricanes.

“Mr. Chairman, we want to work in a bipartisan fashion to address climate change. This committee has demonstrated a history of bipartisanship. And if you’ll let us, we can do it again. Let’s not destroy the village to save it.

“I want to welcome Mr. Kevin Sunday, of the Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce who is testifying today. He will explain Pennsylvania’s dependence on fossil fuel resources for economic growth and job creation, and discuss the devastating impact this legislation would have on his state.”

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