Republicans see value in using their political energy to advance a counter proposal to President Joe Biden’s climate-change and renewable-energy agenda. That’s because their pro-oil energy bill — which the GOP-run House of Representatives approved in a 225-204 vote on Thursday — faces certain death in a Democrat-controlled Senate.
Instead, California Rep. Kevin McCarthy, the House’s speaker, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise, from drilling state Louisiana, are bolstering their energy platform now with an eye to the 2024 election that will include a fight for the White House.
Named the “Lower Energy Costs Act,” the legislation draws from a number of bills advanced by House committees that focused primarily on long-held Republican priorities, such as boosting fossil-fuel
production. House leaders even assigned the bill the honorable designation H.R. 1, perhaps to signify its importance to the GOP majority that won back the House in the midterms.
Essentially, Republicans want to downplay the arguably longer-term risks of dangerously rising global temperatures that result from greenhouse gas emissions put off by coal, oil and gas
and focus on providing the lower costs they assign to a wide offering of energy sources. That leaves traditional energy at the heart of their platform, but can include wind, solar, nuclear, hydrogen and other alternatives
with GOP priority given to market-based solutions in these areas, they say.
“‘By accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies and emission-efficient production of our energy resources and by catalyzing the development of America’s mineral resources, the [act] will strengthen the United States’ leadership role…’”
— Heather Reams, president of CRES
“I think there is a pathway for [permitting]. I want it to start in the House; it should come over [to the Senate],” Manchin said during theCERAWeek Energy Conference earlier this month.
Beyond Thursday’s vote, Republicans may be in for the long haul.
“H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, takes a great first step to realizing these goals by cutting Washington red tape that stifles American growth,” said Heather Reams, president of center-right lobbying and trade group Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions. CRES backs alternatives such as solar, and promotes carbon capture, but wants these sources alongside natural gas and other U.S.-generated options.
“By accelerating the deployment of clean energy technologies and emission-efficient production of our energy resources and by catalyzing the development of America’s mineral resources, the [act] will strengthen the United States’ leadership role in reducing global emissions, make energy more affordable for American families, and decrease our reliance on Russia and China, making our nation more secure,” Reams said.
MarketWatch’s Victor Reklaitis contributed to this report.