Ranking Member Bush’s Opening Statement at Subcommittee Hearing on Energy Inflation
Washington, D.C. (March 29, 2023)—Below is Ranking Member Cori Bush’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, at today’s Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs hearing on Big Oil’s price gouging.
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Ranking Member Cori Bush
Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs
Hearing on “Fueling Unaffordability: How the Biden Administration’s Policies Catalyzed Global Energy Scarcity and Compounded Inflation”
March 29, 2023
St. Louis and I are here today to highlight the urgent need for new investments in renewable, reliable energy. Instead, we are wasting time on the preposterous and offensive oil industry wish list that House Republicans are bringing to the Floor for a vote this week as the Polluters Over People Act.
At our last energy hearing, we considered the global nature of inflation and the price spike caused by the pandemic, Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine, and supply chain shortages. We also discussed how the United States has been harmed by our precarious reliance on unsafe and unstable energy sources such as coal, oil, and gas. For me, and many of my colleagues, it is clearer than ever that our best path to energy security is to rapidly diminish our reliance on fossil fuels. Until we do, Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities will continue to bear the heaviest burden of this energy crisis and our reliance on fossil fuels.
At the same time, to achieve energy security and independence, we need far more public investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Energy security means regular, everyday people can keep their lights on at night and kids, especially Black and Brown kids, can play outside without getting asthma. It does not mean securing the profit margins of coal barons.
In the Polluters Over People Act, House Republicans have put forward an alarmingly harmful energy policy that would serve as a giveaway to oil tycoons and eviscerate the voices of affected communities like mine. This bill is so extremist and unscientific that it could only have been written by the industry that would profit most—Big Oil.
The bill would repeal some of the most effective provisions of President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, including provisions to eliminate fees on methane emissions and zero out programs to reduce home utility bills.
The bill would make oil and gas leasing unbelievably cheap and allow companies to trample over communities in the blind pursuit of profit.
Imagine throwing money at companies whose actions are driving the climate crisis and then asking them to monitor themselves and calling it policy. The inhumanity is heartbreaking.
Almost as alarming as the provisions of the bill and the false premise of this hearing, many of the bill’s provisions are the same as they were six years ago. Industry couldn’t think of anything more favorable and Republicans have made few updates to their energy policy in six years. I suppose if their work builds off of industry marketing documents we’d be better off if they weren’t doing anything at all, but still.
I would love the opportunity to work with my Republican colleagues to invest in energy security and lower prices for families. Sadly, they are more interested in economic security for corporations than energy security for people.
Congressional Democrats have a different idea. We intend to do what the government was set up to do—spend public dollars supporting people and not corporations. We will invest in community-based organizations and green jobs. We will build renewable energy infrastructure to scale.
We will fight and we will win a Green New Deal for everyone.