Texas Democrat: US natural gas vital in transition to renewables

Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-Texas) said energy sources like liquified natural gas are essential in the transition to renewable energy, and that a Biden administration would help in that effort.

“It's not an either or [decision],” Gonzalez said Monday at The Hill’s “Energy Access and Reliability” event during the virtual Democratic National Convention.

He said renewable and traditional energy leaders will “need to hold hands and walk this walk together, and I feel fully confident that ... we will be able to do it under a Biden administration.”

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Gonzalez -- a member of both the Congressional Renewable Energy Caucus and the Oil & Gas Caucus -- argued at the event sponsored by the American Petroleum Institute that the United States should maintain its position as an exporter rather than an importer of energy, so that it can provide oil to allies.

One way to do that, he told The Hill's Steve Clemons, is for Congress to invest in carbon-capturing technology and provide tax credits for companies that develop and use renewable energy technology, all part of the Democratic platform.

The 2020 Democratic Party Platform does not mention natural gas but emphasizes investment in renewable energy.

Gonzalez’s remarks came the same day the Trump administration announced it had finalized plans to allow oil and gas drilling in 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, dealing a blow to conservationists and proponents of renewable energy.

Will Marshall, president of Progressive Policy Institute who also spoke at Monday’s event, said presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenKinzinger, Gaetz get in back-and-forth on Twitter over Cheney vote Cheney in defiant floor speech: Trump on 'crusade to undermine our democracy' US officials testify on domestic terrorism in wake of Capitol attack MORE is well positioned to help bridge the political divide on the environment by highlighting that energy is “an employment issue” that provides opportunities like investing in manufacturing jobs to build electric vehicles.

At a discussion earlier in the day at an event titled “Campaigns and the Pandemic,” Rep. Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreShining a light on COINTELPRO's dangerous legacy Lawmakers urge IRS to boost outreach about tax credits for low-income Americans McMorris Rodgers floats vacating Speaker's chair over Democrat's in-person vote after COVID diagnosis MORE (D-Wis.) described Biden’s running mate, Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisRepublican Sean Parnell jumps into Pennsylvania Senate race Biden sees Trump rematch as real possibility Ode to Mother's Day MORE (D-Calif.), as someone who has used her position of power, such as California attorney general and San Francisco district attorney, to fight for the vulnerable, such as going after oil companies that violate environmental standards.