Leaders of the House Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition (SEEC) responded yesterday to the passage of H.R. 1.
A Republican-led energy package, H.R. 1 benefits polluters while raising energy prices for American families. The package allows loopholes and giveaways for the oil, gas and mining industries to pad their pockets at the expense of the environment and the American people.
SEEC includes Co-Chairs Reps. Doris Matsui, Mike Quigley, and Paul Tonko, Vice Chairs Reps. Don Beyer, Matt Cartwright, Sean Casten, Chellie Pingree, Katie Porter, and Chair Emeritus Rep. Gerry Connolly.
“At a critical moment in our transition to a clean energy economy, House Republicans have chosen to drag our country backwards with their ‘Polluters over People Act’ and undo the unprecedented progress we made last Congress. This legislation guts pro-consumer policies and rolls back the Inflation Reduction Act’s historic investments in clean energy technologies that have already provided tangible benefits to American families and businesses,” the statement reads.
SEEC said that House Republicans are not satisfied with just rolling back important clean energy policies, but have “doubled down” on the same pro-fossil fuel policies responsible for the nation’s climate crisis.
“This bill provides a license to pollute while giving free rein for oil and gas executives to continue to price-gouge American families at the pump. By lifting long-standing protections within our nation’s environmental laws, the ‘Polluters Over People Act’ would set the stage for further chemical disasters and unsafe drinking water crises that have long burdened our most vulnerable communities. The health and safety of American families and future generations are not political cards to be played.”
H.R. 1 would actually increase the federal deficit. SEEC said Republicans “have signaled that they want to tie this legislation to debt ceiling negotiations. At a time of record-high oil and gas profits, House Republicans are evidently willing to hold the American economy hostage for the further benefit of fossil fuel executives.”
“If this is supposed to be House Republicans’ answer on permitting reform, let us be clear, it is not a serious one. Instead, it is the culmination of years of Republican efforts to roll back bedrock environmental and pollution protections and support the oil and gas industry. The rhetoric may have changed over time, but Republicans’ love for Big Oil has not.”
SEEC pointed out that H.R. 1 includes none of the proposals the coalition put forward in fall 2022 “to accelerate the critical deployment of electricity transmission and increase the amount of community engagement in the permitting process, which in turn will help projects get off the ground faster. This is a massive missed opportunity for bipartisan collaboration. We at SEEC stand ready to work with our Republican colleagues to develop a serious vision of permitting reform to build clean energy and transmission in this country at the scale and pace needed to transition to a 100 percent clean economy by 2050.”
SEEC is a coalition of 90 members of the House of Representatives founded in January 2009 to focus on advancing policies that address climate change, promote clean energy innovation and domestic manufacturing. The coalition also seeks to develop renewable energy resources, create family-sustaining clean jobs and protect the nation’s air, water and natural environment.