Energy & Environmental Policies – U.S. Chamber, Global Energy Inst. Report (12/8 CIBO Committee Presentation)

The GOP now has majority control of the House of Representatives. The Senate remains under the Democrats. This will make it somewhat more difficult to pass legislation. Compromise will be needed. A continuing resolution for funding in the next 2 weeks is likely. The government still needs to be funded. The debt ceiling will have to be released. The Chamber will still be pushing to improve the permitting process. There appears to be bipartisan support for this need. Despite all the climate goals and other objectives, these will not be achieved without a much better permit process. With the House under Republican control, the administration will likely need to issue more regulations and executive orders to achieve their objectives. While the Chamber does not agree with many administration objectives, the Chamber does have a good working relationship with the administration. Nevertheless, the Chamber is not shy about using litigation to support its membership.

The Chamber participated in COP27. The level of engagement from the business community was extensive. Climate activists may have been somewhat distraught (trade show for business?), but these policies, goals, and objectives cannot be achieved without the business community. The reality is that we will continue to need fossil energy and the energy security that those fuels provide for decades to come. The goal should be to reduce emissions, not to reduce the use of fossil fuels.

The debate needs to be changed from government’s need to do more and force businesses to do something to one of developing the necessary technologies, providing the right signals, and applying the appropriate solutions. There are 3 significant needs. The first is improved permitting. The goals cannot be achieved if it takes 5 – 7 years to get a permit for a needed technology. The second is critical materials. Shorter and more secure supply chains will be needed. Labor availability is also key. The third area is natural gas. The Chamber is a strong supporter of natural gas. By greater use of natural gas, the US has significantly reduced its GHG emissions. This fuel must be made available throughout the world, as developing countries attempt to meet their energy needs going forward.

Marty Durbin, US Chamber of Commerce