House Oversight Report Highlights Harms From Biden Admin’s ‘Green New Deal’ Agenda

Tom Ozimek
By Tom Ozimek
May 24, 2024Congress
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House Oversight Report Highlights Harms From Biden Admin’s ‘Green New Deal’ Agenda
President Joe Biden speaks on how "Bidenomics" is helping clean energy and manufacturing, at Arcosa Wind Towers in Albuquerque, N.M., on Aug. 9, 2023. (Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images)

A new House report details how the Biden administration’s climate change-fighting energy policies have had a series of detrimental impacts, including higher gas prices, growing uncertainty in the nation’s power sector, confusion in the market for new cars and appliances, and heaps of burdensome regulations that have sent costs soaring for both businesses and everyday Americans.

The report—entitled The Biden Administration’s Green New Deal: Paying More for a Dimmer Future—was released on May 23 by the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability, whose chairman Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.) accused President Joe Biden of undermining the welfare of Americans by pushing a “radical” climate agenda.

“The Biden Administration weaponized the power of the executive branch to wage a war against American-made energy production and cement in place radical, far-left energy policies that jeopardize domestic energy development, overload America’s power grid, and raise costs on all American consumers and businesses,” Mr. Comer said in a statement.

Since taking office, President Biden has pushed far-reaching and deep-cutting policies that are part of what his administration describes as a “whole-of-government approach to the climate crisis,” including issuing a multitude of executive orders and leading the charge on the so-called Inflation Reduction Act, which the president himself boasted was the biggest climate bill in U.S. history.

The report details what it describes as major problems facing critical sectors of the economy that have been made worse by the Biden administration’s energy policies, including various moves to stifle the potential of domestic energy production in a bid to reduce fossil fuel use.

It also takes aim at what it says is a “regulatory blitz” that has hampered economic growth and innovation, while raising costs for Americans at a feverish pace.

“From day one, the House Oversight Committee has worked to expose the Biden Administration’s radical climate agenda,” Mr. Comer said. “The Committee will continue to fulfill its responsibility to hold this Administration accountable for its detrimental Green New Deal policies that are impacting Americans across the country.”

Neither the White House nor the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) replied to requests for comment on the scathing report.

High Gas Prices

In 2019, under former President Donald Trump, the United States became officially energy independent (i.e. more energy exports than imports) as part of his administration’s push to unleash domestic energy production for economic and national security benefit—a strategy that the former president vows to revive if elected in November.

By contrast, the Biden administration has taken aim at domestic fossil fuel production as part of its focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that it believes are driving what it claims is a “climate crisis.” The committee report accuses the Biden administration of failing to recognize the potential of American energy, calling its energy policies “shortsighted” and in many ways harmful, including by pushing up gas prices.

“Instead of creating an economic and regulatory environment necessary for low fuel prices, President Biden did the opposite,” the report alleges, citing as an example two executive orders (13990 and 14008) that were issued less than a week after President Biden assumed office, which put a freeze on federal onshore and offshore leases for oil and natural gas extraction.

Even though the moratorium was lifted in June 2022 in response to legal action, the Department of the Interior (DOI) has since then leased the lowest number of acres for oil and gas production of any prior administration in nearly a century.

The report details a series of actions it says have contributed to an environment conducive to higher gas prices, including EPA regulations on methane emissions, attempts to eliminate tax provisions encouraging domestic energy production, and entering into global agreements to end fossil fuel financing.

Electrical Grid Instability, Rising Costs

Besides higher gas prices, electricity prices have also soared under the Biden administration, which the report blames on “radical” new policies and regulations that seek to transform power generation and electricity markets, moving to replace highly reliable and affordable existing sources of energy with new ones that are normally less reliable and more expensive.

This is combined with growing electricity demand due in part to “sweeping” electrification initiatives, such as for electric vehicles (EV), as well as the scaling of artificial intelligence utilization, massive data center expansions, and federal incentivization of onshore manufacturing in the industrial sector.

Increased demand paired with regulations that disfavor electricity production by fossil fuel technology mean higher utility costs for everyday Americans, along with other costs in the form of some of their taxes going towards energy subsidies and economic costs as high electricity prices push businesses to relocate overseas, the report says.

For instance, federal subsidies in the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will impose massive costs on taxpayers, the report argues. It cites testimony given by Travis Fisher, Director of Energy and Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute, during a March 2024 hearing of the Subcommittee on Economic Growth, Energy Policy, and Regulatory Affairs.

“That expert estimates that IRA production tax credits could cost taxpayers $3 trillion by the year 2050,” the report notes.

Further, by shifting incentives to disproportionately favor intermittent sources of power like wind and solar, the Biden administration is artificially suppressing the true cost of renewables and shifting it to taxpayers, the report alleges.

By adopting what the report describes as “green-at-all-costs” policies that are aimed at appeasing climate activists to the detriment of consumers, the Biden administration is also undermining the reliability of the electrical grid.

The Oversight Committee cites a report from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation that notes “energy policy” as a key threat facing America’s electrical grid, in particular the changing resource mix.

The report also takes aim at the financial burden of the Biden administration’s mass of new regulations that come as part of its energy policy agenda.

It estimates that, from the time President Biden assumed office through April 19, all the costs from the 851 final rules adopted are estimated at $1.37 trillion, and 267 million paperwork hours.

Under President Trump, that cost was $30.1 billion, a mere fraction of that figure.

President Trump was uniquely active during his administration in rolling back regulations passed by his predecessors. During his term in office, he reversed more than 100 environmental rules and took other actions to lift burdens on industry such as approving the Keystone XL Pipeline—which President Biden immediately canceled after taking office.

From The Epoch Times

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