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What is the G.O.P. Energy Bill (Lower Energy Costs Act)?

What is the newly approved G.O.P energy bill, also referred to as the Lower Energy Costs Act, and how will it affect Americans as well as the Biden administration’s efforts to reduce emissions and transition towards the use of clean energy?
Ecology News
2023-04-03T00:00:00.000Z
en-us

The United States has been making an exceptional effort to increase the use of renewable energy sources and shift towards a cleaner model of electricity usage – such as has been depicted in the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and other climate legislation across the country, but the new G.O.P energy bill could hinder some of the current progress that the U.S. has made to excel in their environmental efforts.

What is the new G.O.P Energy Bill, or the Lower Energy Costs Act, and how does it impact Americans, opposed political parties, and the Biden administration’s efforts to strive towards net-zero emissions? 

What is the G.O.P Energy Bill?

The G.O.P energy bill, also known as the Lower Energy Costs Act, was recently voted on by various U.S. Republicans that worked to join forces with the House of Republicans to get an energy bill approved that would encourage the use of domestic oil and the production of gas, prevent hydraulic fracturing from being banned, and also create new federal funding to support clean energy projects. Clearly, the new G.O.P energy bill is multifaceted – and has the potential to both satisfy and irritate political parties and people depending on their priorities, whether they be to protect the environment or boost the economy. 

The House of Representatives passed the Lower Energy Costs Act on March 30th, 2023 – as the energy bill remained one of the most important documents to be approved. However, it is important to note that the energy bill was mostly supported by Republicans: with 221 Republicans voting in favor of the G.O.P energy bill and only four Democrats in support of the same energy bill.

👉 The main goal of the G.O.P energy bill is to put an end to current restrictions that probit the importing or exporting of natural gasses, which while bad for the environment – still seem to do wonders for the economy. In addition to ensuring that environmental legislation does not hinder the economic well-being of the United States, the G.O.P energy bill will prevent Biden from implementing more federal bans on hydraulic fracturing – practices some states, such as New York, have already banned. 

The G.O.P energy bill is also set to deter the need for strict environment review or requirements for various energy production projects. In other words, the G.O.P energy bill will make it easier for projects that make use of oil or drilling to be passed without being “flagged” as an environmental hazard or for potentially hindering the success of achieving current emission reduction goals. 

It is clear that the G.O.P energy bill is mostly occupied with ensuring continued economic viability for the country, as the Republicans who voted for the G.O.P energy bill also voted to revoke a massive $27 billion dollars for the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund – money which was allocated towards clean energy projects as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act passed last summer on behalf of the Biden administration.

person installing solar panels

How does the G.O.P Energy Bill impact Biden’s current environmental efforts?

The new G.O.P energy bill may be good news for those who are concerned with the economy, but it isn’t for those who are preoccupied with the growing concern of climate change – especially the Biden administration.

The Biden administration has been taking exceptional effort to deter the effects of climate change from impacting both society and the planet itself – most notably by having imposed the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, or the climate bill, which allocated a whopping $369 billion dollars towards the development of clean energy projects as well as incentivizing Americans to switch to more energy efficient appliances or environmentally friendly vehicles by providing those who do so with a hefty tax reduction. For instance, Americans who install solar panels or opt to purchase an electric car would be subject to a tax reduction for their purchase – but the new G.O.P energy bill seeks to achieve goals opposite of those depicted in the climate bill passed last year.

This is because the G.O.P energy bill, or Lower Energy Costs Act, seeks to expand the use of fossil fuels and overall production – ultimately threatening the progress made on behalf of Americans who have opted to transition to the use of renewable energy or cleaner methods of transportation. However, the most alarming problem of the G.O.P energy bill in regards to the Biden administration’s recent environmental efforts is that the new energy bill will reduce the wait time to approve of oil and gas pipeline projects – many of which could further aggravate climate change. Therefore, the passing of the G.O.P energy bill has sent some Democrats into a frenzy: trying to ensure that their current wind turbine or solar panel projects are still able to take flight in the midst of this new energy bill being passed. 

As a result of the G.O.P energy bill, many projects currently awaiting approval for construction on gas pipelines will be passed following the lifting of current restrictions against exporting natural gas and oil. In short, the G.O.P energy bill is going to allow projects with potential environmental repercussions to start right away without undergoing further review on how the projects could hinder the current emission reduction success the Biden administration has worked so hard to implement. Even more so, the new energy bill will reduce Biden’s ability to dictate the development of clean energy reform – such as by preventing the president from having jurisdiction over the banning of hydraulic fracturing. 

👉 Think of building a house of cards, and then out of nowhere – someone knocks it down, but not just anyone – people a part of your own team that you worked hard to build that house of cards for in the first place to protect them from harm. The same is happening with the G.O.P energy bill, as the Biden administration has implemented many of their environmental protocols as an effort to protect all Americans – but half of the country is rejecting their efforts entirely.

cards laid out on table

Ultimately, the Biden administration cannot condone the new G.O.P energy bill, as it works against all of the environmental values that have been depicted through the recent actions on behalf of the Biden administration.

Clearly, the new G.O.P energy bill impacts the efforts of the Biden administration – but how does it impact the most important group of people: the majority of Americans?

How does the G.O.P Energy Bill impact Americans?

The G.O.P energy bill may seem to have more of an impact on political endeavors than anything else, but ultimately – the Lower Energy Costs Act will impact the environment, which in turn will impact Americans regardless of their stance on the new energy bill.

One of the best examples to demonstrate how the new G.O.P energy bill will negatively affect Americans is by comparing the passing of the Lower Energy Costs Act to the recently repealed roadless rule for the Tongass National Forest. This is because if the Tongass National Forest were to have been built up with new roads and lodging centers, it would have a direct impact on biodiversity – which would ultimately affect those who lived in the surrounding areas. The same is going to go for those who live near the oil or gas projects that are now set to move forward as a result of the G.O.P energy bill: surrounding residents of these areas are likely to suffer the consequences of inhaling toxic chemicals and adding onto the chance of respiratory diseases in a similar sense to how the Great Salt Lake negatively impacts nearby inhabitants. 

In addition, the new G.O.P energy bill could compromise the current pricing of utility bills – as the use of oil and various fossil fuels are to rise again, it could harm the ongoing rate of supply and demand. This could provoke electricity bills to skyrocket more than they already have in the past year. 

lantern with moon embellishments

How have Democrats reacted to the G.O.P Energy Bill?

Most Americans won’t suffer the long term health, environmental, or ironically – financial effects of the G.O.P energy bill until later – but Democrats are already panicking on the immediate impact that the new energy bill, or the Lower Energy Costs Act, could have on their current environmental efforts.

In fact, many democrats have gone as far to call the new energy bill the, “Polluters Over People” Act – as much of the new energy bill is focused on the economy rather than safeguarding the health and well-being of people or the planet. 

The new G.O.P energy bill doesn’t just impact the future plans democrats had for clean energy reform, but it could impact long standing policies – such as the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, which demands federal entities to consider the environmental impact of their proposed project before engaging in the activity. 

👉 Think of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 as a filter for a water pitcher, and the G.O.P Energy Bill, or Lower Energy Costs Act, as removing the filter from the same water pitcher. After all the effort to create a filter to protect the water, anything can now seep through it – just as any potentially harmful project to the environment can now be passed with the G.O.P energy bill.

water filter in glass jar

Is there a way to modify the G.O.P energy bill to satisfy the desires for both a clean and economically viable energy bill?

The problem with the G.O.P energy bill and other environmental legislation is that it often satisfies one party and angers another. For instance, many Republicans are against much of the Biden administration’s plans to fight against climate change – as they believe reducing the use of oil or banning fracking can result in negative economic repercussions for the country. 

Ultimately, the divide on the impact of the G.O.P energy bill is similar to the debates concerned with the repeal of the roadless rule in the Tongass National Forest and the ConocoPhillip’s Willow Project, as many environmentalists will argue for the harmful events of  proceeding with projects like these whereas those more concerned with the economy see protecting the environment as a detrimental economic effort to the country. 

The irony is that clean energy can be economically viable for the country as well – as it would decrease the need for foreign or even domestic oils, reduce shipping costs, and mitigate excess emissions from transportation. However, each side would need to be willing to compromise – meaning the next energy bill has to advocate for the economy just as much as it does for the environment. An energy bill like this will become necessary, so it isn’t a matter of if – but when politicians will be able to recognize the needs of both sides of the coin.

What about Greenly? 

If reading this article about the G.O.P energy bill and lower energy costs act has made you interested in reducing your carbon emissions to further fight against climate change – Greenly can help you!

The G.O.P energy bill, or the Lower Energy Costs Act, is just one of the many environmental policies and pieces of climate legislation being developed and proposed in order to combat climate change. Check out our legislation tracker here to see which rules your company has to adhere to.

Greenly can help you make an environmental change for the better, starting with a carbon footprint assessment to know how much carbon emissions your company produces.

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