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Expanding Access to Sustainable Energy Act of 2019

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 23, 2020
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding. It is great to be with my friends on the floor.

I saw an E&E story earlier this week titled ``House divided over impact, wisdom of clean energy bill.'' Where but in D.C. can you take an 8-page bill and turn it into a 900-page bill? Not only that, it authorizes $135 billion with no offsets, and it divides your own Caucus? You can't outspend some Democrats.

When I testified against this bill at the Rules Committee on Monday, my friend Chairman Pallone kept making the point that all he wanted to do was get to a conference with the Senate. Congressman Tom Cole asked if the House position wouldn't be stronger with a bipartisan bill? I think the answer is yes, it would, but that is not what we have here today.

Let me debunk this myth of bipartisanship. There are 38 bills from the Energy and Commerce Committee in this package, 38. Committee Republicans are neutral on four of them, and we support 11 and either oppose or have serious concerns with the remaining 23.

Of those 38 bills, we had no regular order on 15 of them. The chairman used to beat us about the head and shoulders about regular order. And I know this is an irregular time, but 15 of these bills had no regular order, no hearing, no subcommittee mark, and no full committee mark. Only two had legislative hearings.

Even worse, at least three of the bills included were bipartisan deals that passed the committee or the House, and then Democrats went back on those deals and changed the language. Now we find out that an environmental stressors title was added in the manager's amendment that received no deliberation in the committee.

But let me outline a few problems other than size, cost, and process, if that is not enough.

Instead of removing barriers to pipelines and transmission lines, this bill inserts new review criteria to infrastructure permitting decisions. These provisions don't just target fossil fuels; they delay deployment of the green energy Democrats say they want

The RPM Act included in this bill allows the EPA to establish a new Federal registry to monitor sales, track parts, and aid enforcement against not just race cars, but every car and truck on the road.

The included HFC provisions totally and disingenuously flaunt the Interstate Commerce Clause by failing to preempt State laws. The included accelerator provisions invite activists to further change the HFC standards through the EPA. The 5-year essential use exemption for products like asthma inhalers, fire suppression systems, and self- defense sprays is laughable when you find out that this exemption does not even become available until 2034, after HFCs have become less available and more expensive.

The Blue Collar to Green Collar energy workforce grant program included in this bill excludes eligibility for not just fossil fuels but nuclear energy. So not only would a rush to green put people out of work, this grant program would fail to provide equal opportunities for the biggest zero-emission energy sector.

Let the buyer beware. This rush to green is exactly what the State of California has done to their electricity grid.

What do you see? We see rolling blackouts and we see higher costs.

In this environmental justice world, it is a government-mandated injustice to poor communities, poor communities that already spend a higher percentage of their income on energy costs and will face even higher costs and with less reliability and, with that, less opportunity with the direction that this package takes us.

This is very, very unfortunate.