Energy & Environment

White House opposes House energy bill as Democrats promise climate action

The White House is threatening to veto an energy bill rolled out by Democrats last week, calling it a "a top-down approach that would undermine the administration's deregulatory agenda."

The 900-page bill crafted from 40 existing proposals isn't a far cry from a Senate measure pushed earlier this year by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska).

It would funnel money into research and development for all sorts of types of energy, including methods that would assist the longevity of fossil fuel-backed industries. It also focuses on reducing energy use through a series of weatherization grants and building code updates.

The letter opposing the bill said it "would interfere with how we have been designing our own energy and environment destiny free from the reins of the Paris Climate Accord and international agreements or organizations that ignore the clear lessons that have led to American energy independence."

Democrats have pledged to take a vote on the bill this week - pushing ahead of the upper chamber after lawmakers announced they had resolved a Senate debate on an unrelated amendment that stalled the bill dealing with the regulation of hydrofluorocarbons, a heat-trapping coolant.

But the White House said the House bill would impose too many energy reduction targets on federal agencies and that the workforce training measure "is unnecessary and would lead to greater fragmentation of the workforce system and duplication of efforts between federal agencies."

"It's disappointing, but not surprising, that the Trump Administration opposes the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act," House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said in a statement.

"This wide-ranging, largely bipartisan legislation will make critical investments in clean energy and create high-paying American jobs. While the Trump Administration cedes the race to a clean energy economy to our global competitors, House Democrats refuse to wait. This legislation takes important steps to address the climate crisis, drive innovation in clean energy, and makes prudent and necessary investments in our workforce and communities on the frontline of the climate crisis."

 

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