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U.S. Energy Consumers Will Pay Dearly While China Drives Global Carbon Emissions

In the proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation package, climate extremists in Congress and the Administration, supported by the media, academia and the environmental left, are trying to eliminate natural gas from our energy mix through policies that will force ever higher energy costs on American consumers and endanger the reliability of our grid. If successful, they will force Americans to pay more for less reliable energy in a fruitless quest to mitigate climate change being caused primarily by China's rising use of coal for power generation.

Meanwhile, as Americans pay more, China gets a free pass to continue their rapid buildout of high-emitting coal power plants producing cheap electricity. Instead of tackling emissions now, China has committed only to stopping its increase of CO2 emissions nine years from now, by 2030, in the meantime adding a total of 247 gigawatts of coal power now in planning or development, nearly six times Germany's entire coal-fired capacity. China's CO2 emissions (as of 2019, the latest data available) are 27% of the world's total, greater than that of the U.S. and the developed world combined, while U.S. emissions declined to 11%. India's, at 6.6%, are growing rapidly as they also add coal power.

The proposed $3.5 trillion reconciliation package now being hotly debated in Congress is loaded with provisions aimed at raising the cost of natural gas-powered electricity in a clear but misguided effort to force it out of the grid in favor of wind and solar. The worst provision is the proposed "Clean Electricity Payment Program" (CEPP), which fines a utility for keeping natural gas in its mix but not adding renewables, while it would reward other utilities with large sums of taxpayer dollars for increasing wind and solar output.

Europe, and particularly Germany, offers a perfect example of the predictable results of such a strategy. According to Forbes Magazine's Jude Clemente, "Germany's ongoing energy transition seeks to spend as much as $4 trillion to install as much wind and solar capacity as possible, and to drastically curtail or 'hopefully' eliminate the need for gas, coal, and nuclear. This has left Germany with the highest electricity prices in the world." This pain is imposed on citizens of a country responsible for a tiny single-digit percentage of the world's CO2 emissions.

We fully support efforts to reduce America's CO2 emissions, which is already happening driven by market forces and rational policies, including support for CCUS paired with natural gas power generation, in tandem with additions of wind and solar. This obvious path forward offers a near term solution to lowering our emissions while leveraging our huge energy resources, all the while maintaining affordable energy and full grid reliability throughout the day and the seasons of weather.

We call on Congress to scrap the CEPP altogether from any legislation to be proposed through reconciliation or any other legislative means. It will hurt America while having negligible impact on our global climate.

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