Washington, D.C. – Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding H.R. 1, the energy package introduced by the House Republicans. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:
Yesterday, the UN International Panel on Climate Change released their most dire warnings to date: unless the world swiftly transitions to clean energy and curbs emissions, our planet risks crossing a point of no return sometime in the next decade. What awaits us on the other side could be severe and irreversible: droughts, storms, crop failures at a level we can scarcely imagine today.
When I think of my young grandchildren and I worry about the world they're going to grow up in, this is something that should make every one of us want to do something real about climate change.
Unfortunately, House Republicans seem to think the best solution for our energy needs is not to help America transition to clean energy but, unfortunately, they think doubling down on more giveaways to Big Oil is the way to go.
I have been very clear about two things: Democrats want to see a bipartisan, commonsense energy proposal come together in Congress, but Republicans’ H.R. 1 proposal is dead on arrival in the Senate.
Let me just repeat that so they hear it on the other side of the aisle: H.R. 1 is dead on arrival in the Senate. So you can do all the hoopla you want in the House, it ain't passing. It's not going to change a thing.
No serious proposal would omit, as the House bill does, long overdue reforms for accelerating the construction of transmission, to bring clean energy projects online. You can't have a good bill without some transmission.
Transmission is vital to getting clean energy from where it is produced to where people live, but the Republicans’ H.R. 1 proposal leaves this problem untouched. It’s one of the major things we must do this year.
No real energy proposal would stuff itself with poison pills in the way Republicans’ H.R. 1 does as well. House Republicans want to repeal everything from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, to the methane fee – imagine repealing the methane fee when methane is ten times as dangerous as CO2 – and the royalty reform for oil and gas leases. Democrats just passed these into law—to wide acclaim throughout the country and throughout the world—through the Inflation Reduction Act, so to undo them a few months later is ludicrous, it’s laughable, it’s not happening.
Until Republicans recognize that permitting reform is an essential step towards laying the foundation for clean energy and that transmission is essential no proposal or package they put forward will be taken seriously. Fortunately, there are some on both sides of the aisle in both houses who are attempting to put together bipartisan legislation and it has my blessing for them to try and come up with something that would be reasonable, productive, and could pass.