Political activist Grover Norquist is not convinced that Democrats’ opposition to fossil fuels is about the environment.
“It’s completely political because if you look at it, it’s not just that they don’t like fossil fuels, meaning gasoline,” he said. “They also don’t like nuclear power. Well, nuclear power has no carbon in it.”
Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, discussed a wide range of topics with NTD Business in an April 20 interview and was critical of Democrats’ claim that they oppose fossil fuel production because of carbon emissions. He suggested that if Democrats were really concerned about carbon emissions, they would be in favor of nuclear power and would not allow importing of oil, gas, and other products from countries that are greater emitters of carbon dioxide.
“They specifically want the less productive, more expensive energy, so that there’s less energy available to Americans,” he said. “They don’t mind the Chinese building dozens and dozens of coal-fired plants, matter of fact, and they don’t want to interfere with Russians on their gasoline and natural gas.”
President Joe Biden has said climate change is an existential threat and that his administration is committed to mitigating the damage caused by carbon emissions, and therefore he will not support the fossil fuel industry in the United States. He has instead opted to import oil and gas from places like Russia and the Middle East.
The Biden administration has said its goal is to “create a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035 and net-zero emissions economy by no later than 2050.”
“He also knows that Paris alone is not enough,” Kerry told reporters at a White House press briefing in 2021 while talking about the reason President Joe Biden reentered the Paris Climate Agreement.
“Not when almost 90 percent of all of the planet’s emissions—global emissions—come from outside of U.S. borders. We could go to zero tomorrow and the problem isn’t solved,” Kerry conceded.
While Republicans want to enhance U.S. fossil fuels production and use an all-of-the-above energy approach, Democrats want to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy because they would have control over that industry and those companies would vote for their party, Norquist said.
“So, what do they want? Well, what they’re creating, if this is their goal, is an industry that will be under government control, and industries under government control vote for the dominant party, vote what the state wants, what the government wants,” said Norquist.
“Government employees tend to vote for the party in power. Certainly, if your job is at risk because you’re in an industry that’s only going because it’s subsidized—if you’re in solar power or wind power—without subsidies, those industries don’t continue in any meaningful fashion.”
Norquist said, in turn, these green energy companies donate to Democratic politicians.
Meanwhile, some Democrats have blamed federal subsidies for fueling corporate greed and increasing energy costs. In 2021, a group of progressive Democratic lawmakers penned a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) to repeal fossil fuel subsidies, claiming fossil fuels do not help American energy independence.
“Fossil fuel subsidies should be repealed because, instead of enhancing American energy independence or creating jobs, they simply enhance the profits of fossil fuel companies,” the lawmakers wrote.
Norquist said there are no targeted subsidies for the oil and natural gas industries. Instead of subsidies, Norquist said the Democrats’ proposed tax increases on American energy companies will translate to higher costs on all consumer goods.
“Biden’s proposed budget has 35 taxes—35 new and different and higher taxes—and then 11 of them are on energy,” he said. “So he’s out giving speeches about how surprised and unhappy he is that the cost of gasoline is going up, which he did all by himself. Putin had no part of that.”
Norquist said Biden wants to raise taxes on gasoline, home heating oil, and electricity, all of which will make people poorer and energy more expensive, he said.
“They’d like to be in charge of energy. They’d like to be in charge of labor decisions. I would prefer, and I think the American people would prefer, less government interference in how we get our energy,” Norquist said. “Just make it less expensive and more plentiful.”