House Republicans Outline Their Stance on Climate Change and Clean Energy

April 20, 2021 Updated: April 20, 2021

House Republicans on April 19 outlined their stance on climate change and reducing global emissions, advocating for developing clean U.S. energy resources without sacrificing American energy independence and American jobs. Rep. Garret Graves (R-La.), ranking member of the House Select Climate Committee, said Republicans want to further reduce emissions around the world and protect the environment by exporting the United States’ cleanest energy.

“And at the heart of this—American innovators, domestic resources, and free markets,” said Graves in a video summary of GOP view on climate change and clean energy. “We must utilize these tools in a way that enhances the American workers’ competitiveness and improves our energy and national security.”

House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) said Monday that Republicans in the House will be featuring dozens of bills and policy ideas on energy and climate in the coming weeks of 2021.

“Our members have been working for years to develop thoughtful targeted legislation to reduce global emissions by ensuring we can develop and build a new technology at home that is clean, affordable, and exportable,” said McCarthy. “Unlike Democratic plans, ours don’t kill American jobs or make American energy more expensive to increase taxes and regulations. Instead, House Republicans are focused on solutions that make American energy cleaner, more affordable, and also reduce emissions around the world.”

President Joe Biden’s recent executive orders on climate change state a goal of setting the United States on course to creating a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050. To achieve these goals, the Biden administration is having all relevant federal agencies adopt its climate change agenda and subsidies are being cut off from the fossil fuel industry.

“The order establishes the National Climate Task Force, assembling leaders from across 21 federal agencies and departments to enable a whole-of-government approach to combat the climate crisis,” the order states. “Secretary of the Interior is to pause any new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or offshore waters to the extent possible,” the order continues. In all, the order mandates that the United States move away from fossil fuels.

The White House did not immediately return a request for comment on the Republicans’ position on climate change and U.S. energy independence.

“America is the world leader in reducing emissions, and in energy research and development,” said Graves. “What we’ve got to focus on with our clean energy strategies is looking at the entire globe because this isn’t a problem that the United States can solve itself, many of the very climate solutions that have been pushed by the left actually result in increased global emissions.”

One such policy is the Obama-era Paris climate accord, which Trump pulled the United States out of but Biden has rejoined since taking office. Conservatives are opposed to the pact because it does not require countries like China, the world’s biggest polluter, to reduce their carbon emissions to the extent that the United States is required to. Graves said for every ton of emissions the United States is required to reduce, China increases by 4 tons.

Conservatives believe that even if the United States were to achieve net-zero emissions by paying higher energy bills and bearing the brunt of a weaker economy, this would not help global emissions because larger countries like China and India would still be increasing their carbon footprint.

Graves, Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), and Foreign Affairs Ranking Member Michael McCaul (R-Texas) recently introduced the Paris Transparency and Accountability Act.

This bill calls for renegotiating the Paris agreement or developing a new agreement to ensure China and all major carbon emitters have results comparable to the United States.

The United States has been a global leader in reducing emissions and the GOP wants this to continue by putting the focus on exporting U.S. clean energy to other countries since global demand for energy is projected to increase almost 50 percent by 2050.

Republicans want to fill that global demand with clean U.S. natural gas energy without sacrificing American jobs and American resources.

The Biden administration’s policies are canceling projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline, which is said to have cost thousands of jobs and millions of dollars as well as making the U.S. less energy independent.

14 Attorneys General wrote to Biden in Feb. to ask him to reverse the decision on the pipeline and to prevent the economic damage that many keystone states will experience.

“The pipeline states and their local communities will also suffer dramatically. In Montana for instance, killing Keystone XL will likely cost the state approximately $58 million in annual tax revenue,” the letter states.

Meanwhile, Graves said, the U.S. spends more money “on basic energy research than every other country in the world combined,” said Graves. “Our oil and gas are going to have demanded all over the world. Since it’s the cleanest the most efficient, we need to be exporting it to these countries to displace the dirtier fuel sources for Russia and China.”

Not only that, but Graves said his party believes China is using the climate change crisis to advance its military strategy, which is a direct security threat to the United States.

“China has gone and dominated the rare earth and strategic minerals markets. They’ve cornered or monopolized the resources around the world, and they’re one of the top producers,” said Graves. “Continuing down this path of flawed energy and climate strategies only plays into the hands of China, and their national military strategy.”