The House of Republicans energy and climate plan pushes fossil fuels, hydroelectricity

United States House Minority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks as Rep. Whip of House Minority Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) listen during a press conference at the United States Capitol May 11, 2022 in Washington, DC

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Republicans this week introduced a road map describing how they would mitigate rising gasoline prices and tackle climate change if the party wins control of the House of Representatives in November’s mid-term elections.

The plan comes from the energy, climate and conservation task force set up last year by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-California, and includes proposals that go against warnings from climate scientists.

The strategy provides a broad overview of how the party would deal with high energy prices, but does not set specific targets for greenhouse gas emissions. Requires increased fossil fuel production and liquefied natural gas exports, as well as streamlining the licensing process for large infrastructure projects, according to The Washington Post, which first reported the plan.

The agenda also supports legislation to expand hydropower, one of the oldest and largest sources of renewable energyand condemns policies that increase US demand for critical minerals extracted from China, necessary for the production of electric vehicles and renewable energy. In a document introducing the road map, they cite the Republicans Department of Energy Statistics showing that only 3% of the more than 80,000 dams in the United States currently generate electricity.

“If the Republicans regain a majority in the House in the fall, we will be ready to implement that strategy and alleviate the suffering of American workers’ wallets,” Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., Chair of the task force, wrote in a blog post.

Climate scientists have warned that the world must drastically reduce fossil fuel production to avoid the worst consequences of climate change. A recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said that limiting global warming to around 1.5 degrees Celsius will become impossible over the next two decades without immediate and major cuts in emissions.

The GOP has historically opposed measures to address the climate crisis. The Trump administration has tried to reverse more than 100 environmental rules, deeming it burdensome for the fossil fuel industry.

This week’s plan takes a very different approach to tackling climate change than the Biden administration’s agenda of cutting emissions by half by 2030 and achieving net zero emissions by 2050.

Republicans have said they will unveil the six policy areas of their plan over the next two months, including “Unlock American Resources”, “American Innovation”, “Build America”, “Beat China and Russia”, “Conservation with a purpose “, and” Build resilient communities “.

The roadmaps also come after the House last year passed more than $ 500 billion in climate investments under the president’s Build Back Better Act. That legislation is still stalled in the Senate after opposition from Republicans and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin. Every Republican in Congress opposed the funding, arguing that it would exacerbate the worst inflation the United States has seen in decades.

Environmentalists and Democrats in Congress have said the GOP’s plan is not only insufficient, it would make the climate crisis worse.

“This climate plan appears to have been devised by a comic book supervillain,” said Brett Hartl, director of government affairs at the Center for Biological Diversity. “The Republicans have managed to come up with a scheme that would make climate change even more destructive.”

Representative Frank Pallone, DNJ, chair of the Energy and Trade Committee, condemned the plan and said that if Republicans were serious about tackling climate change, they would support legislation that Democrats have proposed to lower energy prices and cut carbon pollution.

“This Republican House proposal simply recycles bad old ideas that amount to little more than handouts to oil companies,” Pallone said in a statement. “It is an extraordinary demonstration of insincerity to admit that climate change is a problem, but to propose policies that make it worse.”