Chair Rodgers Opening Remarks on America’s Energy and Environmental Leadership
Washington D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) delivered the following opening remarks at today’s Environment, Manufacturing, and Critical Materials Subcommittee hearing titled “America Leads the Way: Our History as the Global Leader at Reducing Emissions.”
“Today’s hearing is an opportunity to celebrate American energy and environmental leadership.
“We are going to explore our legacy as technological innovators to solve tough problems around energy and environmental protection, without sacrificing our economic development or national security.
“This is the message that Energy and Commerce plans to celebrate on the world stage at COP28.”
AMERICA’S ENERGY AND CLIMATE LEADERSHIP
“For decades, America has led the way.
“We’ve harnessed the power of nuclear energy, electrified millions of rural American’s homes with clean hydropower, and ushered in the Shale Revolution, which continues to create millions of new jobs, bring manufacturing back to the U.S., and revitalize communities across the country.
“America is more energy secure today than ever before thanks to this legacy, which was built on the foundation of free markets, entrepreneurship, and giving people the opportunity to choose which energy sources best suit their needs.
“Today, we are the number one producer of oil and natural gas in the world.
“We’ve become a top exporter, which is helping to shift markets and bolster our security against countries like Russia and Iran.
“This Shale Revolution and the affordable and reliable natural gas that American workers are now producing has also enabled America to reduce emissions more than any other nation, and we have the capacity to continue helping countries reduce their emissions even further.”
CHINA IS THE WORLD’S BIGGEST POLLUTER
“American energy leadership is critical to ensuring we are not reliant on China, a country that maintains some the worst environmental and labor standards in the world.
“It is clear by their actions that China does not share our concerns about the climate nor our value of environmental stewardship.
“For instance, China’s energy-related emissions of CO2 increased by almost 80 percent between 2005 and 2021.
“They are responsible for 28 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions—making them the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases by far.
“This is more than the GHG emissions of the entire developed world combined.
“In the U.S., on the other hand, CO2 emissions from the energy sector have declined by 14.5 percent since 2007.
“Since 2005, U.S. CO2 emissions from the electric sector alone have declined by more than 28 percent.
“Between 1970 and 2020, the U.S. reduced emissions for criteria air pollutants by 78 percent.
“And since 2000, fine particulate matter—or PM2.5—air quality has improved 44 percent.
“All told, U.S. air quality is the best in the world, and it’s getting cleaner.
“Furthermore, China’s supply chains—which rely upon slave labor—control the vast majority of critical minerals processing, and refining for electric vehicles, wind turbines, and solar panels.
“Moving to 100 percent wind, solar, and battery powered energy—as some have proposed—will cede our energy future to China and could have the perverse effect of increasing emissions.”
EMBRACING AMERICAN VALUES TO WIN THE FUTURE
“We should instead be working to build on our remarkable legacy, which has transformed the human condition, helped lift people out of poverty, and raised the standard of living.
“The best way to do that is with a strong energy mix that takes advantage of the resources we have here at home, lowers costs for Americans, and prevents us from becoming reliant on China for our energy needs.
“Intermittent renewable sources, like wind and solar, have a place in this mix, but they need dispatchable energy—like clean natural gas, nuclear, and hydropower—to back them up.
“By standing up for American values of free market competition, innovation, and environmental stewardship, we can continue building on this legacy, which will drive down emissions, while making energy affordable and reliable.
“These are achievable, bipartisan goals that will help us beat China and our foreign adversaries.
“This is the best path, rather than the market distorting subsidies and grants for ‘green’ technologies, which some have suggested, or the punitive environmental restrictions that forces mining and manufacturing out of the U.S. while banning people from using gas-powered cars and natural gas appliances.
“This forced transition will leave our economy dangerously dependent on supply chains from China, and make energy less affordable and less reliable for Americans.
“With the right policies in place, however, America can lead the way to an energy expansion and transform our energy mix.
“Our economy, our national security, the stability of global markets, and the environment will only benefit from continued American leadership.”