Opinion

Securing Cleaner American Energy

China just released its latest five-year economic plan, part of an apparent effort to cheat its way into becoming the top global power. Democrats continue to double down on their plan for Green New Deal-style mandates. Both are bad for American families, workers and communities. In contrast, Energy and Commerce Republicans offer solutions that promote American jobs and the economy while addressing climate change risks – the Securing Cleaner American Energy Agenda.

China’s new five-year plan is a direct challenge to America’s technological and innovation leadership, including how we lead in securing our energy future. China has already amassed significant control over critical parts of renewable technology supply chains, including nearly 10 percent of the global lithium market (compared to 1 percent in the United States) and around 80-90 percent of the rare earth mineral production, which are both essential in electric vehicle batteries, as well as wind and solar technologies. The country’s most recent five-year plan sets new targets for scaling up nuclear energy production, infrastructure investments and coal operations.

America’s energy future is being threatened at home as well. President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Green New Deal-style climate and energy agenda will upend our progress in innovation and cede American energy leadership to China. Like revoking the Keystone XL permit, the administration’s climate agenda is killing jobs and undermining key industries. The Biden administration’s policies and one-size-fits-all mandates will also force us to be more reliant upon China’s technology and resources: 90 percent of global solar panel production and 80 percent of key components in wind turbines are controlled by Asian countries, with a majority controlled by China. This is all dream come true for China — but it’s terrible policy for our economy and national security.

This is why Energy and Commerce Republicans released the Securing Cleaner American Energy Agenda, which prioritizes affordable, reliable and secure energy. This legislative package takes practical steps to address climate change risks, reduce carbon emissions and strengthen American competitiveness and national security.

American innovation has ushered in an era of energy security, reliability and low energy costs. Advances in hydraulic fracturing and liquified natural gas, for example, have made us a top energy exporter for the first time in decades, added millions of jobs and stimulated our economy. This has made us the envy of the world.

We do not have to play by China’s rules. Nor should we aid its efforts to dominate emerging technologies and our energy sector. Instead, we need an all-of-the-above energy strategy that unleashes innovation and leadership in clean energy and saves jobs, all while taking advantage of all our abundant resources — including hydropower, nuclear energy, natural gas and clean coal.

That’s our goal with the Securing Cleaner American Energy Agenda: It will spur the development and deployment of energy infrastructure without the job-crushing mandates, regulations and federal government spending dominating the climate and infrastructure plans of President Biden, Speaker Pelosi and the Democrats. For example, while many on the left want to phase out natural gas production, this package would expand it by streamlining pipeline-permitting processes. It also builds on our bipartisan wins that became law at the end of last year, including advanced nuclear technologies and carbon capture technology solutions.

These bills in our agenda will also address American energy reliability and affordability through regulatory reform, encourage investment in innovative new technologies and strengthen energy sectors where we have a competitive advantage. The rest of America cannot afford to follow California’s path, where big government policies are causing rolling blackouts and skyrocketing energy prices. Our agenda will make emissions-reducing technologies more affordable, like carbon capture technologies—which the International Energy Agency says are necessary to reduce global emissions.

The left’s unworkable pie-in-the-sky mandates promise jobs tomorrow — jobs that may never materialize — while leaving hardworking people jobless today. Our plan prioritizes preserving jobs today and creates more jobs for tomorrow by harnessing all of our energy resources. By unleashing American energy innovation across the board, we will sharpen our competitive edge, keep millions from becoming jobless and ensure that China’s agenda for global dominance is always just a dream.

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) is the Republican leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) is the Republican leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s energy subcommittee. Rep. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) is the Republican leader of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s environment and climate change subcommittee.

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