News

Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Updates


Jun 11, 2024
Blog

E&C Republicans Lead CRA to Reverse President Biden’s Attack on Affordable, Reliable American Power

Biden Administration’s New Rules Will Compromise Our Reliable Electric Grid Last week, Energy and Commerce Committee Member Troy Balderson (R-OH) and Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV) led more than 138 members of the House, including every single E&C Republican member, in introducing a joint resolution of disapproval to halt President Biden’s recent regulatory attack on U.S. power plants. The President’s Clean Power Plan 2.0 will shut down critical baseload energy generation across the country which will lead to higher energy costs, compromise our grid, and jeopardize thousands of American jobs.   Innovation, entrepreneurship, and free market competition have driven America’s energy and environmental leadership. The President should be working with Congress to expand the nation’s reliable, affordable baseload energy rather than undermining our energy security with his radical rush-to-green agenda. Read what E&C Republicans and other top voices had to say: The American Iron and Steel Institute: “We applaud Senator Capito and Congressman Balderson for their leadership in supporting American steel producers, who depend heavily on affordable and reliable electricity. The American steel industry leads the world in terms of clean steel production and serves as the critical component in all clean energy technologies. Unfortunately, this EPA rule threatens the premature closure of a significant number of baseload power plants on which our sector relies —as EPA’s own analysis forecasts. We appreciate the nearly 200 members of Congress who agree and have cosponsored this resolution to overturn the regulation,” said American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) President and CEO Kevin Dempsey.   The American Chemistry Council: “ACC applauds Rep. Balderson and Senator Capito for leading this CRA resolution. US manufacturing needs access to affordable, reliable electricity to compete, innovate & create jobs. We urge Congress to support this important effort.   National Rural Electric Cooperative Association: “EPA’s power plant rule is unlawful, unreasonable and unachievable. Under the rule, EPA illegally attempts to transform the U.S. energy economy by forcing a shift in electricity generation to the agency’s favored sources. EPA exceeded its authority and Congress must overturn its action. We urge Congress to pass this resolution and are grateful for Sen. Capito and Rep. Balderson’s leadership to reverse this harmful rule,” said NRECA CEO Jim Matheson.   American Petroleum Institute:   “At a time of rapid energy demand growth, we need policies that harness all of America’s resources, including natural gas, to power our future economy and help ensure energy is affordable for families and businesses. Instead, EPA’s final rule does nothing but add barriers to building the new generation capacity needed to power the future grid. We thank Rep. Balderson for prioritizing reliable energy and will continue to work with policymakers to keep the lights on for the American people,” said Rob Jennings, Vice President of Natural Gas Markets for the American Petroleum Institute (API).   The National Mining Association:   “Even prior to the introduction of the CPP 2.0, we were teetering on the edge of power supply shortfalls – with razor thin capacity margins colliding with new, soaring demand. The EPA’s response to documented grid problems has been an irresponsible disregard for our electricity reality that cannot be allowed to stand. We appreciate the leadership shown by Senator Capito and Congressman Balderson in pursuing CRAs against the CPP 2.0 rule and calling for its reversal,” said Rich Nolan, President and CEO of the National Mining Association (NMA).    Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions: “‘America needs more energy generation, not less,’ said Heather Reams, President of Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES). ‘The Biden Administration's latest iteration of the Clean Power Plan threatens U.S. energy reliability—endangering our ability to keep the lights on and threatening our status as a leader in global emissions reduction. Thank you, Sen. Capito and Rep. Balderson, for leading the effort to reverse these misguided regulations. CRES looks forward to continuing our work with Republicans to promote clean, affordable and reliable American-made energy.’”   Western Energy Alliance:   “‘Increased use of natural gas to generate electricity is the primary reason the United States has reduced more greenhouse gas emissions than any other country. Despite the huge environmental benefits natural gas provides, the Biden EPA seeks to discourage new gas power plants by requiring 90% carbon capture and storage by the completely unrealistic year of 2032 for a technology that currently is operational in exactly zero power plants. Rather than subject the power sector to a long legal struggle to overturn a rule that is so obviously unlawful, Congress can circumvent a huge source of wasted effort with the CRA resolution and let the power sector get back to meeting the vast new demand for electricity to support AI, data centers, electric vehicles, and basic daily life. Western Energy Alliance is very grateful to Senator Capito and Congressman Balderson for putting forward this commonsense bill,’ said Kathleen Sgamma, President of Western Energy Alliance.”   Heritage Action:   “‘The EPA’s so-called Clean Power Rule would be a disaster for America’s energy independence and economic competitiveness. The regulation hits middle class families the hardest, mandating expensive and unreliable energy sources while putting thousands of Americans out of work and enriching our foreign adversaries like China. Once again, President Biden is ignoring the Supreme Court and the needs of hardworking families to push through an overreaching, job-killing regulation. Heritage Action applauds Rep. Balderson for fighting back,’ said Ryan Walker, Executive Vice President of Heritage Action.”   CLICK HERE to read Rep. Balderson’s press release announcing the resolution. CLICK HERE for information from Energy and Commerce's November 2023 hearing on the Clean Power Plan 2.0.



Chair Rodgers Joins CNBC’s Last Call to Discuss E&C Hearing on Powering AI

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Last Call to discuss the Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing on meeting the energy needs of emerging technologies, like artificial intelligence, while maintaining an affordable, reliable electric grid. Highlights and excerpts from the interview below: On Meeting the Energy Needs of Our Digital Future:    “The hearing today highlighted how important reliable baseload energy is to new technologies, whether it is AI or other technologies . Today we were focusing on the massive data centers that are being built, massive amounts of data that’s being collected and stored, and that all requires reliable energy.    “You think about advanced manufacturing and bringing those technologies to the United States. Again, it is dependent upon energy, and it is foundational to our lives.  “ We need more energy, not less , but we continue to see policies from the administration that are shutting down energy ... their policies are making it harder.  “If we are going to embrace artificial intelligence and everything it offers to us as a nation, it is going to require a lot more energy. That is why we have been continuing to focus on the importance of this baseload reliable energy.”  On the Importance of Reliable Energy:   “Baseload means twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. It means that we have to have reliable energy, and that’s so foundational to our lives. We all are dependent upon it.   “What we heard today is that we are going to need at least double, some are predicting even more baseload.   “Down in the Georgia region, where they finally did permit a new nuclear plant, the new Vogtle plant, they said they’re going to need at least the electricity generation equal to five of those Vogtle plants moving forward.   “That’s why the Energy and Commerce Committee has been leading on streamlining the permitting process through a major nuclear package, hydropower, also dealing with natural gas pipelines .    "Permitting is probably the number one barrier to doing anything in the United States of America, including building these energy projects that are so foundational to our lives, our future, and these new technologies.” Don’t miss what E&C Republicans said about the hearing:  Don’t miss in E&E Daily: Energy, Climate and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) set the tone by focusing on competition with U.S. adversaries, namely China. AI, cryptocurrencies and data centers make up about 2 percent of global energy demand, according to the International Energy Agency. That’s only expected to increase in the coming years.   “Communication, new frameworks and long-term planning are vital to meeting the technology and energy needs of this decade and decades to come,” said Duncan.   CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers opening remarks.  CLICK HERE to read Subcommittee Chair Duncan’s opening remarks.



Subcommittee Chair Duncan Opening Remarks at Hearing on Meeting the Energy Needs of America’s Digital Future

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s subcommittee hearing titled “Powering AI: Examining America’s Energy and Technology Future.”  “We are here today to examine the next frontier of the American economy—the digital information economy. Data centers and AI are powerful tools that give America an edge.     “To stay ahead of our adversaries and competitors, we must keep this edge.  “At the same time, we have to maintain our energy dominance.   “America is blessed with tremendous natural resources. Our energy future directly impacts our technology future—in fact, our energy dominance will now be the reason for our technology dominance.”   DEMAND GROWTH   “For decades, electricity demand has remained flat. That is no longer the case. In fact, we are seeing demand grow at a scale and pace that many utilities have never seen before.  “By some estimates, demand will grow by 5 percent per year nationwide through the end of the decade. But in certain parts of the country, demand could grow by as much as 20 percent.    “Regardless of the exact number, we know electricity demand is surging in many places because of data center growth, new manufacturing, and electrification.  “This electricity demand from data centers and manufacturing is not like residential demand that uses a little electricity here and there and can be asked to turn off through demand response and virtual power plants.   “Many of these enterprises run non-stop at 90 percent of their full potential.  “They can’t afford disruptions, shortfalls, or blackouts; they require 24/7/365 electricity to power American innovation. If data centers, including those using AI, need constant power, they cannot rely upon intermittent resources for that firm, dispatchable power.”  GRID RELIABILITY WARNINGS    “At the same time, we are seeing demand surge, grid experts have warned for years that the reliability of our electric grid is in danger of blackouts.    “Much of this grid reliability crisis is because of the premature retirement of our most reliable resources like coal, natural gas, and nuclear.    “A perfect example of this is the nation’s largest grid operator, PJM. Two states seeing some of the largest increases in data center demand—Virginia and Ohio—are in PJM.   “PJM is warning us that up to 30 percent of its generation could retire by 2030 while energy consumption is projected to increase by 40 percent by 2039.    “So, on the one hand we are subtracting our most reliable generation and on the other hand, we are saying we need more power.”  ENERGY EXPANSION   “If the U.S. is going to rise to the energy and technology challenge, we must embrace energy expansion. Pipelines are essential to the energy security of the United States.    “If we don’t have the necessary infrastructure to deliver energy from producers to consumers, we will undercut our economic, energy, and technology security.    “If we are going to meet the energy needs and climate pledges of technology companies, we are going to need new nuclear, both large reactors and small modular reactors.   “The bipartisan work this Committee has done on nuclear energy with the Atomic Energy Advancement Act will help deploy more nuclear energy—emissions-free, firm generation.”   PROTECTING RATEPAYERS AND PLANNING   “As we build out this new infrastructure, we must ensure that residential ratepayers feeling the squeeze from inflationary policies of the Biden administration are not burdened with even higher utility bills.   “Despite the many benefits of data centers, we must make sure that costs for electric infrastructure are paid by those customers causing the costs.   “They should not be disproportionately spread to residential ratepayers and other captive customers.  “The pace and scale at which we are seeing data centers come online requires data center companies, utilities, regulators, and policymakers to work together early and often.   “Communication, new frameworks, and long-term planning are vital to meeting the technology and energy needs of this decade and decades to come.”  



Jun 4, 2024
Hearings

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks at Hearing on Meeting the Energy Needs of America’s Digital Future

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing titled “Powering AI: Examining America’s Energy and Technology Future.”  “For more than a century, American energy has powered our economy, raised our standard of living, and driven technological innovation that has improved the health and wellbeing of people across the country and around the world.  “It has been key to American technological leadership thus far and will continue to be essential to ensuring we maintain that leadership in the future.  “The data centers used to store and process the information that many of these emerging technologies utilize, along with the advanced manufacturing necessary to build them here at home, will require significantly more energy resources. Energy is foundational to everything we do.  “The cornerstone of this foundation is affordable, reliable electricity.  “The more electricity we have, the more we can accomplish and innovate as a nation.”  FUTURE PROSPERITY, SECURITY AT STAKE   “This Congress, Energy and Commerce has held several hearings across our subcommittees exploring AI.  “We’ve examined the benefits and uses, the safeguards necessary to protect Americans, especially their privacy, and the urgency for maintaining our global leadership.  “We must meet the moment. Our future prosperity and security depend on it.  “If we fail, China will control our future. We cannot let that happen.  “In order to beat China, we need to unleash American energy, not restrict it.”  THE EXPLOSIVE NEW DEMAND FOR ENERGY   “In states across the country, utility planners and regulators are confronting the hard truth that they need more reliable power to meet the needs of their communities and the growing demands from our digital economy.  “Some are projecting a ten-fold increase in the growth rate of new power demand, compared with the past decade.  “Just across the river in Northern Virginia, power demand is projected to increase from 2,500 megawatts in 2020 to over 8,000 megawatts by 2028.  “In Georgia, utility companies had to quickly update their plans to reflect a jump from 400 megawatts of future demand to 6,600 megawatts.  “To put that in perspective, Georgia would need about five more new Vogtle nuclear power plants to meet that level of demand.  “Driving this demand, in many cases, are the industries that process digital information, the data centers that process cloud services, AI, and the digital transactions that are increasingly essential to modern life.  “These services are critical to advancing our nation’s prosperity and will need more, not less, reliable baseload power—the kind of power that can be generated 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.”  THE RISKS OF ANTI-ENERGY POLICIES   “Even as we’ve seen spikes in demand across the country, the Biden administration has continued taking steps to shut down reliable baseload sources.  “Recent EPA regulatory actions, like the Clean Power Plan 2.0, will accelerate the retirement of the very baseload generation essential for reliable power, or any meaningful economic growth.  “Grid operators and others have been sounding the alarm for years, warning that the United States is on a dangerous and unsustainable path.  “Time and again, grid experts have warned the committee that continuing this trend will mean higher prices for consumers and catastrophic blackouts. “Doubling down on anti-growth policies that restrict access to reliable energy sources and retire baseload power generation, is not how we secure our energy or technology future. “Energy is foundational to every aspect of our economy and our way of life. “We should be striving to assure our innovators can provide a more prosperous future for all Americans and help secure our energy and technological leadership for the next century. “That starts by ensuring states and regulators have the resources and infrastructure necessary to provide American families and businesses with reliable and affordable energy. “I look forward to hearing from our witnesses today about how we can achieve these goals.” 



May 29, 2024
Press Release

Chairs Rodgers and Duncan Announce Hearing on Meeting the Energy Needs of America’s Digital Future

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) announced a hearing titled “Powering AI: Examining America’s Energy and Technology Future.”  “America’s innovators are on the cutting edge of developing and deploying new technologies that could radically shape the future for decades to come. Few technologies have been more disruptive in recent years than Artificial Intelligence,” said Chairs Rodgers and Duncan. “These tools are powered by data. As more of them come online, the data centers used to store and process that information, along with the increase in American manufacturing necessary to build these technologies here at home, will require significantly more energy resources. We look forward to hearing from experts and stakeholders on how the U.S. can meet these growing energy demands while continuing to maintain an affordable, reliable electric grid for Americans.”  Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, & Grid Security hearing titled “Powering AI: Examining America’s Energy and Technology Future.”   WHAT: Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing on meeting the energy demands of emerging technologies and ensuring American technological leadership.  DATE: Tuesday, June 4, 2024  TIME: 10:00 AM ET  LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building  This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be livestreamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov/ . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson at Kaitlyn.Peterson@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at Sean.Kelly@mail.house.gov .



May 29, 2024
Letter

Rodgers, Barrasso Call Out Biden Administration for Continued Abuse of Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member John Barrasso (R-WY) sent a letter to Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm following reports that the Biden administration is preparing to further drain the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR). The letter calls on the Secretary to safeguard the SPR and stop using it to provide political cover for President Biden in an election year. KEY LETTER EXCERPT: “ Under President Biden, the SPR has reached its lowest level since 1983. The DOE has overseen the largest sale in history, amounting to a total of 290 million barrels. When President Biden took office in January 2021, the SPR contained 638 million barrels of oil. Today, the SPR currently contains 367 million barrels of oil, which represents nearly a 42 percent decline from when President Biden took office.”  […] “Under the Biden administration, the SPR has been abused for political purposes to try and bring down record high gasoline prices that are driving record high inflation that are a consequence of the administration’s radical rush to 'green' energy policies. In November of 2021, the Biden administration announced a release, in coordination with China, in an attempt to lower prices. Then in March of 2022, the president announced the release of 180 million barrels of oil from the SPR in the middle of an election year, a transparent attempt to influence the midterm elections and distract from the Biden administration’s energy policy failures.”  [...] “We urge you, in the strongest terms, to put this country’s energy security first and stop abusing the SPR for political purposes. As the Secretary of Energy, it is your responsibility to ensure that the SPR is ready to respond to true energy supply disruptions.” CLICK HERE to read the full letter. CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers and Ranking Member Barrasso’s letter in November 2022 detailing the damage from President Biden’s SPR drawdowns. CLICK HERE to read Chair Rodgers’s statement on the House’s passage of H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act , which would help ensure the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is available during a true energy emergency and not abused for non-emergency, political purposes. 



May 22, 2024
Hearings

Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks at Hearing on Biden’s Radical Rush-to-Green Agenda Driving up Costs for Homeownership

Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee hearing titled “Green Building Policies: Jeopardizing the American Dream of Homeownership.”  “Thank you, Chairman Duncan, and our witnesses for appearing before the Subcommittee today. We look forward to your testimony. “This committee plays a critical role in ensuring America continues to lead the world in innovation, entrepreneurship, reducing emissions, and improving people’s way of life. “President Biden’s radical rush-to-green building policies will destroy this legacy and make it more difficult for people to realize the American dream.” RUSH-TO-GREEN “Under the Republican Majority this Congress, the Energy and Commerce Committee has led the way to expose how the Biden administration’s agenda is wreaking havoc on our economy, our energy security, and our national security. “President Biden’s war on American energy has pervaded every aspect of our lives. “Inflation, energy prices, and grocery bills have all reached historic levels. “People are struggling to afford basic necessities, like gas, groceries, and prescription medications. “In spite of all this, President Biden and some Democratic-led States are making life even more unaffordable by doubling down on expensive mandates for solar panels, electric cars, and electric appliances. “They want to control every aspect of our lives and force us all to make do with less.” GREEN BUILDING MANDATES “The cost of buying a home, in particular, has reached an all-time high in recent years, with a record average price of over $380,000 and aggressive, green building regulations have been a major contributing factor in these price increases. “Today, we are going to explore how the Democrat’s rush-to-green agenda is increasing the cost of home ownership. “We are going to hear from people with first-hand experience making construction materials, building homes, and delivering utility services, in order to better understand how green building policies are impacting homeownership. “We are going to uncover how the process to establish state and local regulations for building energy codes has been hijacked by radical environmental activists at the expense of the American people.” BUILDING POLICIES “This is an opportunity for Members to judge for themselves whether the administration’s bans on fossil fuels and natural gas are good for our economy and energy security or whether Americans should be required to have things like rooftop solar panels, electric vehicle charging stations, and all-electric appliances make sense in the Congressional districts that we represent, and whether forcing people to pay more for less is a practical solution to deal with high energy bills and an unstable electric grid. “Policies like natural gas bans and electrification mandates are becoming increasingly widespread, especially in more coastal, blue states. “At least 70 local governments in California, as well as dozens more in seven states and Washington D.C., have enacted some type of a gas ban. New York has a state-wide gas ban. “Just recently, Biden administration finalized new regulations to enforce a fossil fuel ban on all federal buildings, including military installations and residential housing. “The Biden administration also finalized new green building regulations for federally backed mortgages, which will substantially limit the availability of affordable housing. “It’s a government-wide effort to go after homes and buildings. Dozens of agencies are drafting rules and regulations on buildings and homes to force this so-called 'green transition.’” PATH FORWARD “These policies are impacting everyday Americans the hardest. “For decades, America has been able to strike a healthy balance between affordable energy and a strong economy, while also continuing to be a leader in emissions reduction. “It is vital for Americans and their quality of life that we continue building on this legacy and striking that balance. “I look forward to working with Chair Duncan and Members of this Committee to keep the Biden administration and States and local governments accountable to the American people.” 



May 16, 2024
Hearings

Chairs Rodgers and Duncan Announce Hearing on Biden’s Radical Agenda Driving up Costs for Homeownership

Washington, D.C. —  House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, and Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) today announced a hearing titled “Green Building Policies: Jeopardizing the American Dream of Homeownership.” “As Americans continue to struggle with persistent inflation, the Biden administration and radical Left, are doubling down on green building mandates and fossil fuel bans. These radical policies are making it more difficult for people to realize the American dream of homeownership,”  said Chairs Rodgers and Duncan.  “The administration continues to pursue aggressive home construction codes, bans on the use of natural gas for home heating and cooking, and taxpayer-funded green projects for federal buildings that are only making things more unaffordable. Next week, we will hear from stakeholders and experts about how these rush-to-green policies are driving up costs and harming the American people.” Subcommittee on Energy, Climate, & Grid Security hearing titled “Green Building Policies: Jeopardizing the American Dream of Homeownership.” WHAT: A subcommittee hearing on how the Biden administration’s rush-to-green agenda is making life unaffordable for Americans. DATE: Wednesday, May 22, 2024 TIME: 2:00 PM LOCATION: 2123 Rayburn House Office Building This notice is at the direction of the Chair. The hearing will be open to the public and press and will be live streamed online at https://energycommerce.house.gov . If you have any questions concerning the hearing, please contact Kaitlyn Peterson at Kaitlyn.Peterson@mail.house.gov . If you have any press-related questions, please contact Sean Kelly at Sean.Kelly@mail.house.gov .



May 14, 2024
Press Release

Chair Rodgers: FERC’s New Transmission Rule Will Raise Energy Costs for Millions of Americans

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) released the following statement regarding the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) final transmission rule, which will increase costs for Americans across the country. “At a time when energy prices are already skyrocketing and more than half the nation is at elevated risk of forced blackouts, FERC’s new rule is reckless and alarming. This rule tramples on states’ authority over their energy infrastructure and will force some states to shoulder the costs for transmission lines with no actual benefits for their own communities, especially in rural areas. Rather than working to implement meaningful infrastructure permitting reforms, which would reduce energy costs for Americans, FERC’s decision—which advanced along partisan lines—only sets us further behind and continues to prevent the United States from reaching its full energy potential."