It’s no secret that the budget reconciliation package is loaded with pork-barrel spending and sweeping policy changes that are inappropriate for budget legislation. Many of these provisions include incredibly expensive and harmful anti-energy policies that will cripple our economy, increase our dependence on foreign oil, and increase the cost of living, especially for the poorest Americans.
Here are the five most egregious energy policies lurking in the reconciliation bill:
It penalizes reliable electric utilities for doing their jobs
By far the furthest-reaching proposal in the bill, the Clean Electricity Performance Program aims to place financial penalties on utilities who do not meet arbitrary increases in renewable electricity generation. The plan has no provisions to ensure reliable electricity even though history has shown time and time again that increasing variable generation on the grid leads to an unstable and expensive power supply.
It establishes a taxpayer-funded climate army
The Civilian Climate Corps would be the biggest mobilization of government labor since the New Deal, a massive and likely permanent expansion of government power cementing the radical climate agenda in our halls of government. It would burden taxpayers with massive debt — without any impact whatsoever on the global climate — and allow unelected bureaucrats to funnel taxpayer dollars to overtly political organizations with nearly no oversight. In fact, it explicitly endorses racially oriented decision-making. This is the opposite of both equity and transparency.
It creates a new tax on methane, further increasing energy costs
This provision gives the EPA authority to charge $1,500 per ton of methane emissions at oil or natural gas facilities. Ironically, the left’s anti-pipeline agenda is one of the main culprits for recent increases in flaring, a key source of methane emissions, since facilities can only store a certain amount of natural gas on-site before risking a hazardous buildup of pressure. Even more concerning, 75% of the funds will be kept by the EPA to be create a slush fund for community grants and ineffective methane reduction programs.
It provides lavish grants and tax credits for electric vehicles
Despite decades of tax credits for electric vehicles, the vast majority of Americans still prefer to drive traditional cars. Worse, these credits have disproportionately benefitted households with incomes well above average, invalidating arguments that tax credits help low-income Americans afford to make the switch. The reconciliation bill includes nearly $30 billion in pork for electric vehicles.
It includes more than $50 billion (with a b!) in carbon reduction programs
Reconciliation appropriates billions to arbitrarily reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Even if the American people agreed these programs were necessary — and were willing to pay for them, which polling consistently disproves — even the most extravagant spending wouldn’t stop climate change. According to globally accepted climate data models, even eliminating all U.S. fossil fuel consumption by 2030 would reduce average temperatures less than two-tenths of a degree by the end of the century.
Why reconciliation matters:
Expensive energy hurts poor Americans the most. Low-income families spend a significantly higher percentage of their income on home energy bills as well as gas. As highlighted by a recent lawsuit by The Two Hundred, a left-wing civil rights organization suing California for its regressive environmental policies, anti-energy policies particularly harm minority communities.
Additionally, restricting America’s responsible energy producers worsens global pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Policies that restrict American energy force us to import more oil from polluting countries with lax environmental standards, unstable governments, and poor human rights records. We won’t stop needing affordable, reliable energy to survive and thrive — so we should embrace our nation’s global leadership in clean air and proudly produce the energy we need domestically to help reduce pollution.