Ten days after the United States was warned that world leaders must reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent by 2035 to have a 50 percent chance of keeping global warming to degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and preventing more severe climate impacts, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its report summarizing the findings of its Sixth Assessment Cycle. A bill to promote the combustion of fossil fuels was approved by the House of Representatives.
The so-called Reduce Energy Costs Act, or H.R. 1, would, among other things, lower the charge on methane emissions from oil and gas operations, loosen the rules for approving energy projects, and increase the amount of fossil fuel leasing on public lands.
Opponents contend that reliance on fossil fuels in the first place is what causes energy prices to be so volatile, in contrast to the majority of Republican supporters who claim that it will increase U.S. energy independence and reduce domestic energy costs.
Right now, none of it [the GOP energy agenda] makes sense, Rep. According to Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee. They fail to acknowledge that the main cause of inflation was the high cost of fossil fuels. Many back homes tell me they don’t want to be subject to sudden increases in gas and oil prices. They hope that the clean energy economy will give them more financial security and independence.
With four Democrats voting in favor and one Republican voting against it, the bill was approved from 225 to 204. It serves in part as the Republican Party’s response to the President’s main climate bill, the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). According to Politico and The New York Times, it would eliminate important provisions including the methane fee, the $27 billion Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, and funding for energy-efficient building improvements.
It also advances the cause of permitting reform by shortening the National Environmental Policy Act’s two-year review period for new projects and making it more difficult for environmental organizations to file legal claims to stop projects like pipelines.
Supporters of the proposal contend that it will reduce energy costs and ensure that the United States is independent of other countries.
Critical infrastructure projects have been interminably delayed by the Biden administration, which has crippled US energy output. According to House Speaker Kevin McCarthy’s (R-Calif.) website, Democrats’ misguided policies have increased costs for every American, compromised our national security, and increased global dependence on dirtier energy from Russia and China.
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We need to get the federal government out of the way to reduce expenses for Consumers and expand our economy. The Reduced Energy Costs Act provides extensive permitting reforms that will expedite the construction of everything from pipelines to transmission to water infrastructure, accelerating American energy production. Additionally, it guarantees that America, not China, will supply the vital minerals required for new technology.
The New York Times noted that it would increase taxpayer costs since it would lower the royalties that oil and gas corporations must pay for drilling on public lands.
Meanwhile, proponents of environmental justice caution about the consequences of hurrying through filthy energy projects.
WE ACT for Environmental Justice’s senior director of strategy and federal policy Dana Johnson said in a statement emailed to EcoWatch that developers and other parties trying to cut corners on environmental impact assessments have a long history of locating environmentally harmful developments in communities of color, downplaying or even failing to disclose dangers to the communities.
During the past 50 years, communities have used NEPA’s environmental impact assessment criteria to identify impacts, take steps to reduce them, and, most significantly, take into account public input. The communities most impacted will thus suffer from any attempts to weaken NEPA.
The law has been called the Polluters Over People Act by Democrats, who will probably succeed in stopping it for the time being, according to The New York Times. It was “dead on arrival,” according to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Biden has vowed to veto it.
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This administration is making unheard-of strides toward safeguarding America’s energy security and bringing down costs for consumers at the pump and in their homes. H.R. 1 would do the exact opposite, substituting a barely disguised license to pollute for pro-consumer legislation.
By eliminating household energy rebates and undoing historic expenditures to expand access to price-competitive clean energy technologies, it will increase expenses for American families. According to a Statement of Administration Policy released on Monday, rather than defending American consumers, it would boost oil and gas corporation profits, which are already at record highs, and harm our environment and public health. This bill is highly opposed by the Administration.
According to Reuters, the bill represents a type of victory for McCarthy because it demonstrates his ability to mobilize his party’s slim majority for a vote. Politico observed that it might also turn into a significant talking issue for Republicans as they prepare for the 2024 race.
Finally, it might be used as a negotiating chip in the congressional effort for permitting reform, which is a top objective for Senator Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), a coal supporter, and is favored by some Democrats to make it easier to install renewable energy sources.\
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According to Representative Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.), chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, “by demonstrating our strong support, we give some of our Senate Democratic friends a notion that okay, we have a place to work the permitting space specifically.”
These are smart policies, even if they don’t cover everything, whether you’re attempting to connect offshore wind or build a gas pipeline from North Dakota to Illinois.