Republican Energy Bill Would Undo Biden’s Climate Agenda

March 15, 2023

House Republicans on Tuesday introduced a bill to repeal Democratic-led climate initiatives enacted last year, including a new methane emissions fee, a “green bank” to spur low-carbon projects, and directions for regulatory agencies to speed up approval of energy projects.

The bill would also lift restrictions on the import and export of liquefied natural gas, eliminate the royalties companies pay to extract fossil fuels from federal areas, and speed federal permit approvals.

Further, the bill would limit a section of the Clean Water Act under which environmental groups and community organizations in Appalachia have sued the companies behind a gas pipeline project that would bisect Virginia and West Virginia.

“This bill counters President Biden’s attack on our domestic energy and includes permitting reforms that will speed construction for major infrastructure projects across the country,” said Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA).

House Majority Leader Steve Scalise (R-LA) said the bill was compilation of work from members of several committees: Energy and Commerce, Natural Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure.

When President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law last September, it extended tax credits to wind, solar and other clean energy projects. However, a parallel effort to speed up environmental permitting—which can take years to complete—has stalled on Capitol Hill.

This week’s House GOP bill is the first offering on permitting in the 118th Congress. 

With the House Rules Committee setting a deadline of 5pm March 21 for amendments, the full House is expected to vote on the new bill during the last week of March.

However, the bill in its entirety is unlikely to win approval in the Democratic-led Senate—although it could draw attention from several centrist lawmakers, including Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Angus King (I-ME) as well as Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA).

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-AR) said last week he’s been in close contact with Manchin and Peters regarding new permitting legislation.

Read more exclusive news from Political IQ.

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