Republicans are planning to battle Biden’s ‘radical’ green agenda with House control: ‘keep energy costs low’

EXCLUSIVE: House Republicans are preparing to pursue an aggressive plan to fight President Biden’s climate agenda through legislation and investigations over administration policymaking when they assume majority control early next year.

Several top GOP members, who are in leadership roles on energy policy, laid out their priorities to Fox News Digital. In addition to stemming the Biden administration’s green agenda and efforts to curb fossil fuel production, the Republicans said they would aim to unleash American energy, hold China accountable and secure the domestic critical mineral supply chain.

“Right out of the gates in 2023, E&C Republicans will be leading to reverse the damage of President Biden’s energy crisis with solutions that unleash America’s vast energy abundance and lower carbon emissions,” Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., the top Republican on the Energy and Commerce Committee, told Fox News Digital.

“Our energy solutions are climate solutions. America can and must lead the world in reducing emissions without trading our security to the Chinese Communist Party and sacrificing our energy reliability and affordability to OPEC+,” she continued. “Republicans on Energy and Commerce will continue to lead on real, workable solutions to make energy cleaner, reduce emissions, prioritize energy security, and keep energy costs low.”

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Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., speaks at a press conference on Feb. 8.
(Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

Since Biden took office 22 months ago, McMorris Rodgers has been among the leading critics of his policies and has repeatedly called upon his administration to unleash American energy capabilities. She has also led several oversight inquiries in her minority leadership role, actions which will have more teeth when she chairs the Energy and Commerce Committee.

For example, the Washington Republican would likely investigate Biden’s so-called war on fossil fuel energy, policies that may have contributed to higher gas prices, and both the nation’s reliance on Chinese supply chains and foreign energy sources.

Energy and Commerce Committee Republicans would also pursue bipartisan solutions on nuclear and hydropower energy expansion as well as boosting energy infrastructure cybersecurity.

Another top Republican, Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., who is set to chair the Natural Resources Committee, is also expected to push back against the Biden administration’s climate agenda. The committee has oversight of the Department of the Interior, the agency that oversees federal onshore and offshore energy development.

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“We’ve laid a strong foundation for our Commitment to America this Congress, and we’ll be building on those principles starting day one in January. For our committee, that begins with robust oversight, something that’s been sorely lacking under the current Democrat majority,” Rebekah Hoshiko, a spokesperson for Westerman, told Fox News Digital.

“If we’re in the majority, Republicans will be conducting hearings and questioning agency officials in order to fully understand how American taxpayer dollars are being spent,” Hoshiko continued. “We’ll also be advancing comprehensive legislation that unlocks American energy, reduces our dependence on China and Russia, and puts the U.S. where it belongs: as the global leader in affordable, sustainable energy production.”

Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., has been a vocal proponent of boosting domestic energy security and pushing back against President Biden’s climate agenda.

In September, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., released the Commitment to America package, a policy blueprint for a majority GOP House. The plan said Republicans would maximize reliable, cleaner, American-made energy, cut the permitting process time in half for energy development, prevent rolling blackouts and lower the cost of gas and utilities.

“House Republicans are squarely focused on bringing down costs for all Americans, which is why a Republican majority will prioritize measures to unleash American energy,” said Lauren Fine, a spokesperson for Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House minority whip and a leader on the GOP-led House Energy Action Team.

“We will bring bills to the floor that will ensure affordable, reliable energy for American families, including lease sales, permitting reform, and unlocking our [liquiefied natural gas] capacities,” Fine added.

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On Tuesday, Scalise was selected as the Republican majority leader for the upcoming Congress.

Westerman would also prioritize legislation that protects forests from wildfires through proactive measures, according to his spokesperson.

“Of course, Mr. Westerman will be working on forestry legislation like the Save Our Sequoias Act, the Trillion Trees Act, and the Resilient Federal Forests Act,” Hoshiko told Fox News Digital. “Trees remain the most complex, advanced carbon sequestration devices we have, and it’s imperative that we manage our forests well so they can thrive for generations to come.”

“Beyond that, we look forward to exploring policies to provide long-term solutions to pressing issues like western drought, improve access to our nation’s public lands, and more,” she said.

Trees are pictured during a massive wildfire earlier this year. Republicans led by Westerman have proposed proactive measures to prevent uncontrollable wildfires.
(AP Newsroom)

And Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., the top GOP member on the Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Subcommittee, said he was committed to boosting critical mineral production and supply chain reliability.

“Unleashing American energy and mineral dominance will be a priority of the Republican majority, and it starts with real permitting reforming, especially for mining,” Stauber told Fox News Digital in a statement. “My Permitting for Mining Needs Act will improve our permitting process and limit frivolous litigation.”

“I look forward to working with incoming Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman and my colleagues on fixing our permitting problems to secure our energy future,” he said. “Our efforts as Republicans to onshore our mineral supply chains contrasts with Biden and the Democrats’ preference of catering to the radical green lobby and importing the minerals we need from countries that use slave labor.”

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While green energy technologies like electric vehicle batteries, battery storage facilities, solar panels and wind turbines require a massive expansion of cobalt, copper, lithium, nickel, graphite, zinc and other mineral production, the U.S. is largely dependent on other countries for these resources.

The National Mining Association and other industry groups have warned that the U.S. is falling behind and risks long-term energy security as a result.

A wind farm is seen along the Montana-Wyoming state line on June 13. While Biden has pushed for more green energy, the U.S. continues to fall behind on critical mineral production needed for such technology.
(AP Photo/Emma H. Tobin)

Meanwhile, climate and energy groups that have worked with Republicans on previous policies and legislation expressed optimism that a GOP majority House will be able to make significant progress on key issues. The American Conservation Coalition (ACC), a group that works with Republicans on climate policies, laid out a series of measures it hoped the GOP would prioritize.

“In the 117th Congress, Republicans created the Conservative Climate Caucus and unveiled a 6 pillar platform to tackle climate change,” Quill Robinson, ACC’s vice president of government affairs, told Fox News Digital. “Entering the 118th Congress with the majority, they have a clear mandate to address skyrocketing energy prices and continue to reduce the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Permitting reform will be a top priority. Burdensome regulations, including the National Environmental Policy Act, are a significant obstacle to deploying clean energy infrastructure,” he continued. “Natural climate solutions are another topic that will receive Republicans’ attention, particularly within the context of the Farm Bill.”

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Robinson also noted the importance of shoring up domestic critical mineral supply chains, investing in nuclear energy and holding China accountable.

“Rep. Garret Graves, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Rep. Bruce Westerman, and Rep. GT Thompson will be the most important Republican members to watch in terms of climate policy.”