Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Updates

Mar 23, 2023

Chair Rodgers Opening Statement at Full Committee Markup of 19 Bills

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Full Committee markup of 19 bills. Excerpts and highlights below: UPDATING SATELLITE LAWS AND BOLSTERING CYBERSECURITY “From the Communications and Technology Subcommittee we are considering 13 bills that will update our laws governing the satellite industry and promote the cybersecurity of our communications networks. “We must make sure our laws keep pace with advancements in technology and allow innovation and entrepreneurship to flourish. “The Satellite and Telecommunications Streamlining Act, and our other satellite legislation, will give regulators the tools they need to ensure our rules don’t hold back American ingenuity. “We must also make sure the United States and our allies enhance their participation in international standards setting bodies to lead on the development of new international standards, rather than have them dictated by the Chinese Communist Party. “As technologies advance, so too do the attempts by bad actors seeking to hack our networks. “Improving cybersecurity literacy will help protect our data and make our networks more secure. “Overall, I’m grateful for and applaud all the bipartisan work on these Communications and Technology solutions as Energy and Commerce leads the way to improve our nation’s connectivity, network security, and maintain U.S. leadership in wireless technology.” ADDRESSING THE FENTANYL CRISIS “From the Health Subcommittee, we are taking action to address the illicit fentanyl crisis, protect the 9-8-8 suicide and crisis lifeline, and stop discrimination against people with disabilities. “More people than ever are dying of illicit fentanyl poisonings. “As many parents have appealed to us, this requires urgent action. “Moms like Molly Cain deserve justice. “We must secure the border and make sure law enforcement has the tools they need to seize fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances. “That is why we are advancing Representative Griffith and Latta’s HALT Fentanyl Act and Representative Lesko and Miller-Meeks's bill, the Securing the Border for Public Health Act. “The DEA testified just last month that permanently scheduling fentanyl related substances in Schedule I is their number-one legislative priority and in our field hearing in McAllen, we all heard and saw why. “The Securing the Border for Public Health Act would expand current Title 42 authority to be used to stop the import of certain controlled substances, including fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances. “I want to be very clear: President Biden cannot let the emergency scheduling expire and it should not lift Title 42. “I also want to recognize Representative Harshbarger for leading on the Block, Report, And Suspend Suspicious Shipments Act. “The opioid epidemic was fueled, in part, by suspiciously large shipments of controlled substances being delivered across the country—particularly in the Appalachian region. “This bill would help stop this practice and save lives by requiring drug manufacturers and distributors that discover a suspicious package to stop the order and report the information to the DEA.” PROTECTING THE 9-8-8 LIFELINE “Additionally, the 9-8-8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline suffered a cyberattack and was shut down for several hours late last year. “This lifeline is a critical tool that provides support and hope to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. “Thank you, Representative Obernolte, for your work on the 9-8-8 Lifeline Cybersecurity Responsibility Act. “It requires coordination and reporting to improve cybersecurity protections for the 9-8-8 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.” BANNING DESCRIMINATION AGAINST PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES “We are also taking action today to ban the use of Quality Adjusted Life Years—or QALYs—and other similar measures by state and federal government health care programs. “More than 70 disability and patient organizations agree that QALYs are discriminatory and have no place in our decision making. “The federal government can evaluate the effectiveness of treatments and cures without devaluing the lives of seniors and people with disabilities. “We’ve worked tirelessly with the minority and with CMS to get this bill right. “We’ve resolved every outstanding comment from the agency and worked to address the concerns by the minority. “I hope we will come together with a strong vote to affirm the dignity of every person to receive lifesaving and quality care.” HOMEOWNER ENERGY FREEDOM ACT “Finally, we’ll consider H.R. 1603, the Homeowner Energy Freedom Act which will repeal harmful policies from the IRA intended to incentivize states to impose natural gas bans through building codes. “It will stop the administration’s forced electrification agenda that will mean fewer choices and higher energy costs for all Americans. “As you can see, we have a robust agenda this afternoon. Thank you to all my colleagues for their work. “It proves that E&C is plowing the hardground to deliver results.”

Mar 20, 2023
Press Release

E&C Republicans Lead on Legislation to Prevent Biden from Banning Gas Stoves Nationwide

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chair Kelly Armstrong (R-ND) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Vice Chair Debbie Lesko (R-AZ) introduced several bills to protect Americans’ rights and prevent the Biden administration bureaucrats from banning natural gas stoves nationwide:  “President Biden and the radical left want to use the federal government’s power to dictate what kind of car you can drive, how you can heat your home and business, and now how you’re allowed to cook food for your family. Forcing people to switch to expensive alternatives will only further increase costs on hardworking families and disproportionately harm the most vulnerable communities. Natural gas is a safe, reliable and affordable energy source for millions of Americans. I commend the efforts of my colleagues Reps. Armstrong and Lesko to end President Biden’s efforts to ban gas stoves in American households and ensure people have access to affordable and reliable energy," said Chair Rodgers   “Inflation is hurting everyone. We have a crisis at our Southern Border. North Dakotans are worried about being able to provide for their families. What is the Biden administration focused on? Controlling the kind of stove Americans use. This is further incompetence from an administration that seems more interested in dictating every aspect of our lives than solving real problems. Our bill makes it clear that Americans should decide if a gas stove is right for their families, not the federal government,” said Congressman Armstrong.   “The Biden Administration’s extreme proposed regulation that will ban nearly every gas stove on the market is just another example of out-of-touch bureaucrats trying to control Americans’ everyday lives,” said Congresswoman Lesko. “I am proud to join Congressman Armstrong in introducing these important bills to protect Americans’ consumer choice and stop this egregious power-grab.”  CLICK HERE to read H.R. 1640, the Save Our Gas Stoves Act.  CLICK HERE to read H.R. 1615, the Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act. 

Mar 17, 2023

Chairs Rodgers, Duncan: Vague CEQ Guidance Cannot be an Excuse to Abandon FERC’s Core Mission

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC) sent a letter yesterday to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Acting Chairman and Commissioners demanding to know how they plan to incorporate guidance from the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) in a way that does not jeopardize American energy security.   Excerpts and highlights from the letter:  “On January 9, 2023, the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued interim guidance entitled ‘National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) Guidance on Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change.’  “The stated goal of this guidance is to ‘assist Federal agencies in their consideration of the effects of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and climate change when evaluating proposed major Federal actions in accordance with NEPA...’ CEQ’s interim guidance took effect immediately for relevant agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC or ‘Commission’). This vague guidance raises many concerns regarding how the Commission will follow its authorizing statutes in the issuance of permits for both natural gas and electric transmission infrastructure.   “While we understand this interim guidance is subject to change until the rule is finalized, we write to reiterate that NEPA, and especially the CEQ guidance, does not supplant the Commission’s core statutes for siting or permitting natural gas or electric transmission projects. Commissioner Christie pointed out in his dissent to the interim policy statement, entitled ‘Consideration of Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Natural Gas Infrastructure Project Reviews,’ that the Commission’s own regulations implementing NEPA reflect that very fact, ‘the Commission will comply with the regulations of the CEQ except where those regulations are inconsistent with the statutory requirements of the Commission.’ As such, we request that each of you answer the below questions no later than March 30, 2023.  Is it your opinion that the CEQ guidance requires the Commission to quantify upstream and downstream emissions from natural gas projects? If so, how will the Commission apply this in its regulations?  Is the CEQ guidance consistent with facilitating the orderly development of plentiful supplies of natural gas at reasonable prices, as is the intent of the Natural Gas Act? If so, please elaborate. If not, how can the Commission legally implement the guidance?  Does the Commission intend to revise and reissue its natural gas policy statements (Docket Nos. PL21-3-000 and PL18-1-000) in order to incorporate this CEQ guidance? Please explain.  Does the Commission plan to undertake an analysis or solicit public feedback on how implementing this CEQ guidance could affect the price or availability of natural gas and electricity, or the effect on the economy as a whole?”  CLICK HERE to read the full letter.  NOTE: Chairs Rodgers and Duncan sent a letter to FERC on March 3, 2023, demanding they explain why the commission has abandoned its core mission to help deliver abundant, reliable, and affordable energy for Americans. The letter specifically referenced examples when FERC has appeared to make decisions beyond its statutory authority in order to advance President Joe Biden and the Democrats’ rush-to-green agenda. CLICK HERE to read more. 

Chair Rodgers Demands EPA Reverse Its Effort to Shut Down American Power Plants

Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) issued the following statement after the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announcing its “Good Neighbor” final rule, which compromises our grid reliability and threatens American energy security.  “The EPA’s so called ‘Good Neighbor’ plan is nothing more than the next phase in its effort to force power plants to shutter, leaving Americans without a viable energy supply to replace it. People across the country are being forced to give up basic necessities, like food and medicine, in order to afford skyrocketing energy bills. The last thing they need is a federal agency taking steps that drive reliable, affordable energy suppliers out of business. This will further increase costs and heighten the risk of blackouts. It is time for the EPA to reverse its expensive, dangerous effort to force an energy transition on Americans, jeopardize the reliability of our power grid, and shut down American energy.”  Note: To lower costs and ensure reliable energy, Chair Rodgers and Energy and Commerce Republicans are leading on H.R. 1 . It boosts energy production, lifts regulatory burdens for the construction of more energy infrastructure, cuts China out of our critical materials supply chains, and lowers costs across the board.

Rodgers Joins Scalise in Introducing H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA), Natural Resources Committee Chair Bruce Westerman (R-AR), and Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Sam Graves (R-MO), in introducing H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act , to tackle the energy crisis caused by President Biden’s disastrous policies. The bill will be considered on the House Floor in the last week of March.  The Lower Energy Costs Act restores American energy independence by:  Increasing domestic energy production  Reforming the permitting process for all industries  Reversing anti-energy policies advanced by the Biden Administration  Streamlining energy infrastructure and exports  Boosting the production and processing of critical minerals  “From the gas station to the grocery store, President Biden’s war on energy is making life unaffordable for the hardworking people of this country and forcing us to be dangerously reliant on supply chains controlled by the Chinese Communist Party. We must reverse course. H.R. 1 boosts energy production, lifts regulatory burdens for the construction of more energy infrastructure, cuts China out of our critical materials supply chains, and lowers costs across the board. All of this will ensure we build a better and more secure future in America,” said Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy Rodgers.  “For the last two years, President Biden and his extremist friends in Washington have waged a war on American energy, and hard-working families across the country are paying the price. Gas and utility costs have skyrocketed to record highs, with the average American paying over 40 percent more for gas at the pump since President Biden took office. Voters gave Republicans the majority in Congress to stop this radical anti-American energy agenda, and to take action that will lower prices, and House Republicans listened. I am proud to introduce today H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, to cut red tape and increase energy production here at home so we can lower energy costs and stop our dependence on hostile foreign countries for our energy and minerals. With today’s introduction of the Lower Energy Costs Act, we will show the country how to end the war on American energy, become energy independent again, and lower costs for hard-working families who are struggling under the weight of President Biden’s radical agenda,” said Majority Leader Steve Scalise. “I want to thank Speaker Kevin McCarthy and Chairs Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Bruce Westerman, and Sam Graves for joining me in bringing the Lower Energy Costs Act to the House Floor, and I look forward to its passage.”  "Last Congress, House Republicans established our Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force to develop energy policies that meet the real needs of our constituents and our country. H.R. 1, The Lower Energy Costs Act, is a culmination of that promise. This bill counters President Biden’s attack on our domestic energy, and includes permitting reforms that will speed construction for major infrastructure projects across the country. I commend Majority Leader Steve Scalise, Chairs Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Bruce Westerman, and Sam Graves, as well as every member who spent the past 18 months dedicated to lowering energy costs for American consumers. Because of those efforts, we now have a bill that will grow our economy, strengthen our national security, and ensure clean, affordable, American energy can power the world,” said Speaker Kevin McCarthy .  "Energy security is national security. Republicans are delivering on our promises to the American people by unleashing the full power of our energy and minerals, cutting permitting delays, creating jobs, growing our economy, and dealing a blow to China and Russia. At long last, H.R. 1 will give Americans the tools to tap into our resources and build stronger, more resilient communities than ever before. When families no longer have to worry about how they'll afford to fill up their gas tanks or turn on a light switch, they have the necessary breathing room to invest in our economy. I believe our best years as a country are still ahead, but we won't get there by taking a backseat and outsourcing an ever-growing demand for natural resources to our foreign adversaries. We are taking back control, putting America first and unlocking access to the cleanest, safest energy production the world has ever seen," said House Committee on Natural Resources Chair Bruce Westerman.  “Addressing America’s ongoing energy crisis is one of the most important actions this Congress can take. The last thing we need is to be dependent on foreign energy, especially when we can produce and distribute energy here in the United States and maintain our environmental standards at the same time. This legislation will prevent federal water regulations from being hijacked and weaponized to block important energy projects, and I’m proud to have the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s work included as part of H.R. 1’s commonsense and comprehensive approach to solidifying our energy independence,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chair Sam Graves.  Click here for an overview of the bill.  Click here for a section-by-section summary of the bill.  Click here for a summary of the Energy and Commerce Committee components of the bill.  Click here for a summary of the Natural Resources Committee components of the bill.  Click here for a summary of the Transportation and Infrastructure components of the bill. 

E&C Republicans Condemn Granholm for Pro-CCP Comments, Demand She Testify Immediately

Washington, D.C. — In response to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s recent pro-China comments , House Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans, led by Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), Energy, Climate, & Grid Security Subcommittee Chair Jeff Duncan (R-SC), and Environment, Manufacturing, & Critical Materials Subcommittee Chair Bill Johnson (R-OH) sent a letter urging Granholm’s immediate retraction of the remarks and demanding that she make plans to appear before the Committee as soon as possible to account for them.   Excerpts and highlights from the letter to Secretary Granholm:  “ We are deeply troubled by your recent public comments praising China for its supposed efforts to address climate change risks, as they raise serious questions about your judgment and priorities as Secretary of Energy.     “China poses one of the greatest economic, military, and geopolitical threats to the United States, while continuing to be one of the world’s worst polluters.  As the Secretary of Energy, your core responsibilities involve national security, particularly maintaining and certifying the reliability of the nation’s nuclear deterrent and protecting our most sensitive technological secrets from theft by our chief adversaries, Russia and China.    “At the SXSW conference in Austin, Texas, this past week, you stated in an interview that China has been ‘very sensitive’ about addressing climate risks, that ‘we can all learn from what China is doing,’ and that you find China’s clean energy investments ‘encouraging.’  These are alarming comments that, at best, reflect an uninformed, unserious perspective on the goals and intentions of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its abysmal human rights and environmental record.   “We write to request that you immediately retract these pro-China statements and that you make plans to appear before the Committee as soon as possible to account for these statements and explain your priorities as Secretary of Energy.   “Instead of acclaiming China and the CCP and amplifying its propaganda, let’s join together in exposing the dangers of our growing dependence upon China for energy, transportation, and technology systems. Let’s join together to safeguard American technology from the CCP’s relentless efforts to steal and exploit our innovations for its military and economic agenda.  “We are deeply concerned that the rush-to-green agenda of this administration, which you are leading to implement, is putting the United States on a perilous path in which the energy that powers our homes, businesses, and livelihoods will run straight through China with critical minerals supply chains. Plus, this administration’s constant promotion of mandates and subsidies to electrify our transportation systems will result in American mobility controlled with components and materials from China. Meanwhile, the CCP continues to build and utilize coal-fired power plants at home and abroad to further spread its influence, while increasing its carbon emissions.  “Russia’s attack of Ukraine exposed the energy vulnerabilities of Europe. Much of Europe had abandoned its firm power sources like nuclear energy and coal-fired power plants, refused to take advantage of its natural gas resources after succumbing to Russian anti-fracking propaganda, and instead become reliant upon natural gas from Russia.    “We fear that this administration—with its anti-fossil fuel policies—is marching the United States toward the same position of energy vulnerability, only with China holding the keys to America’s energy security. Comments like the ones you made this past week are only advantageous to the CCP’s agenda, which aims to dominate the United States on all fronts.  “China has been termed the OPEC of green energy materials. Yet, China’s overall share of the energy minerals processing actually surpasses OPEC’s 34% share of oil markets—40% for copper, 70% for cobalt and lithium, about 90% for rare earth minerals. We must reverse this dangerous trend and secure our energy materials supplies.    “Our staff have been in discussions with your staff about scheduling your appearance before the Committee to justify DOE’s budget and discuss the Department’s policies. In light of your recent comments, we expect you to make yourself available to the Committee to testify immediately.”  CLICK HERE to read the full letter.  

Mar 9, 2023

From David’s Farm to Your Table, Biden’s Energy Crisis is Raising Prices

President Biden’s war on American energy is making life unaffordable, including for David Hickman, a fifth-generation farm owner and operation from Horntown, Virginia.  He told the Energy and Commerce Committee in January, “this is the most perilous time... for American agriculture.”     WATCH David explain further why we need to unleash American energy to lower prices:  “We had never seen prices increases like we had in 2022. Everyone has to realize that agriculture runs on energy, whether it be petroleum, diesel fuel, or natural gas . A lot of people don’t realize that natural gas is in so many other products than just fuel.   “This potato bag, for example, is a five-pound bag that goes to all our supermarket customers. It was 12 cents in 2021. 16 cents in 2022. That 4 cents might not sound like a whole lot but when you buy half a million that is $20,000 just in the packaging.   “Food prices are directly related to high energy costs. This country needs a stable, affordable supply of energy because so much of agriculture is dependent upon energy. As long as energy is high priced and in short supply, it will translate in higher food prices and shortages in the supermarket.”   David is right. Energy is foundational to everything.    For the farmers who grow our food, manufacturers who make products we need, to truck drivers who make deliveries, grocers who struggle to keep their shelves stocked, and for Americans who are stretching their budgets to feed their families—energy touches every part of our economy and way of life.  That’s why Energy and Commerce Republicans are leading on energy solutions to increase production, boost refining capacity, build more pipelines, and repeal the Democrats’ natural gas tax.   TUNE IN now to today’s Energy and Commerce markup. 

Mar 9, 2023

President Biden is Handing our Energy Security to China

President Biden and the Left’s rush-to-green agenda is making American dangerously reliant on China’s supply chains that use slave and child labor.  These are the facts:  China’s overall share of the energy minerals processing surpasses OPEC’s share of oil markets in many key areas—from 40% to 100% of key materials and processing.   The Department of Energy itself has noted , that China’s control of key materials in renewable energy is quote “across the board.” That includes, 80% of rare earths production and refining that are key to direct drives in wind turbines. 60% of lithium refining needed for electric vehicles and battery storage. 100%of processing for the graphite in battery anodes.  As reported by the WSJ, “About half the world’s supply of polysilicon, an essential ingredient in most solar panels, comes from this part of northwestern China, where human-rights groups and U.S. officials say China runs a sprawling network of internment camps that the U.S. says have held more than 1 million Uyghurs, a Muslim minority group."  As Katie Sweeney, with the National Mining Association (NMA), told the Energy and Commerce Committee in February:  “With over $6 trillion worth of mineral resources in the United States, a highly trained and highly compensated workforce, and world-class environmental and safety standards, the U.S. mining industry is essential to helping the nation meet ever-increasing demand for minerals for electrification, infrastructure, and manufacturing needs.”  “ To improve supply chain security, we must also have a robust domestic mineral supply chain. That includes more smelting, processing, and refining capabilities in the U.S. necessary to claw back the essential processes from geopolitical adversaries like China, which controls more than 80 percent of global rare earth mineral production, nearly 90 percent of global mineral processing capabilities as well as the market prices for rare earth elements at each step of the process.”  That is why Energy and Commerce Republicans are leading to secure our energy supply chains, bring refining and processing home, and cut our reliance on China.  TUNE IN now to today’s Energy and Commerce markup. 

Mar 9, 2023

Biden’s War on American Energy is Hurting Communities

Americans are currently struggling to afford some of the highest energy prices in decades. President Biden’s rush-to-green policies have led to skyrocketing prices across the board—from electricity and oil to natural gas. This is not a path we can afford to continue down.  FAST FACTS on Rising Household Prices   More than one-third of U.S. households say they reduced or skipped basic expenses, such as medicine or food, to pay an energy bill in 2022.  The cost for an average household has risen approximately $10,000 in the two years since President Biden took office.  At a roundtable in January, Donna Jackson, the Director of Membership Development at Project 21, described how President Biden’s agenda is hurting low- and middle-income Americans the most.  Here’s what she said:  “ In so many ways, plentiful and affordable domestic energy is part of the ticket out of poverty and dependence. For example, we see the entrepreneurial spirit of the Black community in many Black- owned small businesses, but those business struggle and sometimes fail under the weight of expensive energy."   […]   “Every extra penny struggling households have to spend on expensive energy is a penny we can’t save for home ownership or our children’s education or other things that can help lift up the next generation.”   WATCH Donna Jackson’s full testimony.  CLICK HERE to read Donna Jackson’s Op Ed on how high costs are hurting Americans.  At an Energy and Commerce field hearing in Midland, Texas, in February we heard from the Mayor of Midland, Lori Blong, who discussed the benefits that her community has experienced as a result of the local energy industry.  Here’s what she said:  “ The messages, virtue signaling and rhetoric that have come from the federal level lately tell us oil and gas is evil or not on the side of average American or on the side of care for our environment. This could not be further from the truth."   […]   “These companies work continuously with local and regional leaders to explore and find solutions to challenges in education, healthcare, housing, road safety, and training the future workforce. Using education as an example, PSP member companies have invested over $47 million in education initiatives across the Permian Basin, supporting local public schools, universities, teachers, and students.”   CLICK HERE to read her full testimony.