Subcommittee Leader McKinley: What is the EPA Doing to Protect our Grid and Prevent Blackouts?


Date: May 17, 2022
Location: Washington, DC
Issues: Energy

In the Environment and Climate Change Subcommittee hearing today, Subcommittee Republican Leader David B. McKinley (R-WV) delivered the following opening remarks during a hearing with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Michael Regan.

Excerpts and highlights from his prepared remarks:


"Our worst fears are now being realized. Pursuing an ideologically driven goal of 100% renewables in such a condensed time frame will cause the grid to collapse.

"Last summer, the head of global research at General Electric in New York told Subcommittee Chairman Paul Tonko and me unequivocally that this would happen.

"And now, according to the Wall Street Journal, warnings of electricity shortages are growing across the United States.

"In the Midwest, the Midcontinent Independent System Operator is working to prepare for "worst case scenarios' and expect a 5 gigawatt shortfall this summer.

"And just last Friday, Texas had to take steps to reduce strain on the grid. Nearly 3 gigawatt of capacity have gone offline because of high temperatures.

"Even California had to extend the operation of its gas-fired power plants last year."


"So, what is the EPA doing to preserve and protect our grid?

"It seems like President Biden and the EPA are increasing regulations, rather than addressing the pending crisis we're facing.

"Rather than ensure a reliable and resilient grid and keep the lights on across the country, the EPA is requesting almost $12 billion to pursue its climate change and environmental justice initiatives.

"Look, with today's science, renewables simply aren't ready to fully power our grid.

"According to the Energy Information Administration, wind only works 35% of the time and solar only 25% of the time.

"And the Lawrence Livermore Lab found 81% of wind projects and 84% of solar projects do not reach commercial operations.

"So why does this EPA continue to pursue an agenda that will only take more fossil fuel capacity offline?"


"Mr. Chairman, the threat of electricity shortages has utilities taking steps to keep aging power plants running longer, but they're fighting regulations. EPA is not being cooperative.

"And Congress has made significant investments over the last two years in carbon capture, like coal first, and carbon dioxide pipelines.

"These investments will let us preserve our fossil fuels and protect our grid.

"But EPA's agenda doesn't recognize that. You seem to want to fund more climate change and environmental justice programs.

"Neither of which will lead to grid liability, only blackouts across the nation."