Republicans Will Focus on Energy Reform
Author: Greg Valliere
March 10, 2023
DESIGNATED BY THE GOP as HR 1 — their top issue this session — called the Lower Energy Costs Act, which includes proposals aimed at speeding up the country’s approval process for energy and mining projects and limiting states’ ability to block projects like pipelines.
OTHER PROVISIONS IN THE BILL include protecting fracking, limiting President Biden’s authority to block cross-border project permits, such as his blocking of the Keystone XL pipeline. The bill also would remove restrictions on natural gas imports and exports.
PROPOSALS SUCH AS KILLING last year’s funding to combat climate change are long-shots, and it’s possible that the bill may have to address the elephant in the room: train derailments, which undoubtedly will require a tougher regulatory stance, which Democrats will demand as the price for any energy reforms.
THIS BILL HAS A DECENT CHANCE OF PASSAGE: The House is likely to approve it, and there may be just enough moderate Democrats in the Senate — led by Joe Manchin and Jon Tester — to pass it there as well.
REPUBLICANS NEED A DIVERSION, since Trump is facing a potential indictment within days over payments to a porn actress. A top GOP legislative priority — immigration reform — has fizzled, with no clear plan coming from Congressional Republicans. And calls from Nikki Haley for Social Security reform make Republicans nervous; they don’t want to touch this issue.
TRUMP KNOWS THIS, AND WILL HAMMER AWAY on the need to protect Social Security and Medicare from any cuts. What the the GOP needs is an issue that can move in Congress, and Republicans agree that energy reform is a logical option.
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