Preventing fossil fuels from making a comeback in Congress
There is no doubt that the world remains dependent on fossil fuels, but there is no doubt that a long-term shift away from fossil fuels is already underway. Still, oil and gas lobbyists have long been in play and have far more influence politically than economically. The size of the entire U.S. energy economy in 2020 is about $1 trillion, accounting for 4.8% of GDP. This includes renewable energy and fossil fuels. More than 80% of the U.S. GDP belongs to the services economy. Tech companies such as Google and Microsoft account for nearly 10% of U.S. GDP. These companies and their products need energy, but there is no reason to favor fossil fuels over renewables. In fact, as American companies increasingly need to report and reduce their carbon footprints, they should promote renewable energy and oppose the use of fossil fuels. However, the natural gas lobby thinks differently.As Eric Lipton New York Times Last week:
“Lobbyists in the oil and gas industry, who expect Republicans to take control of the House of Representatives in the midterms, have worked behind the scenes on Capitol Hill against what they see as a Biden administration’s anti-fossil fuel agenda…their hope is to weaken a $4.5 billion plan This will provide low- and moderate-income households with rebates worth up to $14,000 per household for the installation of electric heat pumps, water heaters, induction cooktops, and other appliances that in many cases will replace natural gas-powered appliances… Nationwide, environmentally friendly Activists in the natural gas industry are already engaged in a bitter battle over whether cities and states should take steps to push homeowners away from natural gas.The shift is already underway: natural gas is China’s main source of heating 46% of households nationwide recently 2020 DOE Surveyfrom below 49% in 2015. “
The goal of decarbonizing the U.S. energy system is opposed by conservatives in Congress, in part because it is seen as a form of intervention in the free market. This ignores the fact that there was never a “free market” for energy because fossil fuels have long been subsidized by the US government.According to Savannah Bertrand Institute of Environment and Energy:
“Direct U.S. subsidies to the fossil fuel industry are estimated to be around $20.5 billion annually, including $14.7 billion from federal subsidies and $5.8 billion from state subsidies.When external factors such as health, environmental, and climate factors are included, U.S. subsidies for fossil fuels are estimated to be as high as $649 billion annually. Removing fossil fuel subsidies would save taxpayers money while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. “
Clearly, the actions of fossil fuel lobbyists and the reactions of some Republicans have more to do with political Competition is greater than the free market Economy competition. As fuel prices have risen, Republicans have sought to blame rising prices on Democrats’ resistance to fracking and drilling that extract fossil fuels in fragile environments. The complexities of global energy markets and the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on fuel prices are easy to ignore when calls for “baby drills” return to Capitol Hill.
My question is when will these companies use Will energy and reporting their carbon emissions demonstrate their power and end the massive impact of this relatively small part of the U.S. economy? Clearly, the magnitude and importance of decarbonization is far greater for fossil fuel producers than for energy consumers. But energy users should push for decarbonization. Last year, more than 90 percent of the top U.S. companies submitted annual environmental, social and governance reports. To improve their performance on these increasingly important metrics, they need to transition to renewable energy. The influence of these companies will likely be needed to combat the ideological stupidity and immature competitiveness of some congressional conservatives. These lawmakers just want to beat the “Liberal Party.” They sometimes vote against bills they favor in an attempt to deny their opponents a victory. If Biden supports renewable energy and electrification, they must oppose it. If Biden suddenly supports fracking, they may also find ways to oppose it.
It’s not that tech companies are silent in Washington, it’s that their focus is on antitrust and other regulatory moves Their Business.according to BloombergAnna Edgerton and Bill Allison:
“Google’s lobbying spending jumped 28% to $9.6 million in 2021, according to a disclosure report due Thursday. In addition to specific antitrust bills, some of which could threaten Google’s business model, the company’s The Washington team is also lobbying on a range of issues, including cloud computing, semiconductor supply chains, cybersecurity, global tax issues, pandemic contact tracing and distance learning technology that has become a core part of education… Amazon spends 2021 $19.3 million on lobbying, up 8.2 percent from a year ago. Apple spent $6.5 million last year, mostly maintaining spending levels for 2020. Microsoft CorporationLobbying spending also increased last year, reaching $10.2 million, an 8.4 percent increase from 2020. “
Environmental groups and climate activists may find it worthwhile to convince these tech companies to use some of their lobbying clout to support renewable energy. In fact, when companies present their records of greenhouse gas reductions, they may also be asked what they are doing to promote decarbonization public policies. The technology company’s customers tend to use renewable energy, and the company may gain PR benefits. In addition, promoting renewable energy may drive technological progress and reduce energy costs, thereby enhancing their ability to reduce their own climate impacts and energy bills.
A Biden administration is deploying all the tools at its disposal to decarbonize the economy. They’re using federal purchasing power, they’ve included renewable energy and mass transit in their multi-trillion-dollar bipartisan infrastructure bill, and they’ve emphasized decarbonization in the poorly titled “Reducing Inflation Act.” The Republican Congress will struggle to make further progress, although it will take years to implement the important measures already in place. To ensure continued momentum for environmental sustainability, it is necessary for energy consuming companies to have their voices heard. This could change the power equation and make additional progress.
While the mid-term gains are typical for a party not in the White House, and polls appear to suggest that the Republican Party is gaining strength, caveats are warranted. First of all, we can still see some kind of surprise in October – the Supreme Court seems particularly politically ignorant these days, who knows what they’ll do in the next two weeks? Second, midterm turnout is always unpredictable, and in a polarized country, motivation really matters.We don’t yet know the impact of the overthrow on the election Roe v WadeFinally, deniers of the GOP election may try to change the narrative of any voting decision, with potentially distracting and confusing results — even if they win.
If Republicans control one or both houses of Congress, we could also see an interesting and lively lame-duck session as Democrats try to consolidate some of the gains made over the past two years and push for a final push by 2024 Their agenda is a presidential campaign. When it comes to climate and environmental sustainability policy, the level of uncertainty is not necessarily a step back in the Trump era. The president’s power is far from trivial, and the Biden team may not be perfect, but it includes many skilled and experienced leaders and strategists. While our reliance on fossil fuels is real, the past two years have exacerbated the volatility and insecurity of this energy source. Promoting renewable energy and allowing energy price competition to drive fossil fuels out of the market makes good economic, political, national security and environmental sense. This transition has already begun, and it will continue no matter who runs the U.S. government.