Heritage Foundation energy and environmental expert Diana Furchtgott-Roth contended in congressional testimony Wednesday that Biden administration policies are outsourcing the nation’s energy production to China and making the planet more polluted in the process.
Furchtgott-Roth pointed to the Inflation Reduction Act passed last fall as a primary culprit.
The Inflation Reduction Act includes a “green” energy tax credit provision that Congress’ Joint Committee on Taxation calculates will cost $570 billion over the next decade.
Furchtgott-Roth testified at a Wednesday Senate Budget Committee hearing that the tax credits should be repealed if the goal is to reduce global carbon emissions.
Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island questioned Furchtgott-Roth about a December Forbes article she wrote in which she argued that renewable energy sources, like those subsidized by the Inflation Reduction Acts tax credits, actually increase global emissions.
“Do you stand by that comment?” Whitehouse asked.
“Yes, because [renewables] are made with coal-fired power plants in China,” Furchtgott-Roth answered. “I did explain that … wind turbines and solar panels and batteries are made with coal-fired power plants in China. I did explain that if these were made with emissions-free energy such as nuclear power, then the benefits to the environment would be much greater.”
In other testimony before the committee, she explained, “If we offshore production to China, they are making these electric batteries, the wind turbines, the solar panels with coal-fired power plants. It’s not reducing global emissions or helping climate change.”
“What we need to do is use our own oil and natural gas resources and encourage other countries to use clean natural gas also, either by us exporting it or by us exporting the technology so that they can do fracking also. That would be far more useful than these $570 billion in ‘green’ tax credits, many of which, by the way, are going to be benefiting China,” she said.
Furchtgott-Roth noted that the air quality in the U.S. has been getting steadily better for decades, thanks in part to the use of natural gas to generate energy.
She advised, “In order to help the deficit, we could repeal the $570 billion of ‘green’ tax credits in the Inflation Reduction Act.”
“What we need to do is use our own oil and natural gas resources, and encourage other countries to use clean natural gas also.” – @DFR_Economics
The Left’s proposed solutions to their climate-change hysteria do little for the climate and a lot to line China’s pockets. pic.twitter.com/04whemA3lw
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) May 3, 2023
The Limit, Save, Grow Act, passed in the GOP-led House last month, would end the Inflation Reduction Act’s “green” energy tax credits as part of an overall deal to increase the nation’s debt ceiling.
The bill suspends the nation’s debt ceiling through March 2024 or until the debt increases by $1.5 trillion, whichever comes first, in exchange for setting fiscal year 2024 discretionary federal spending at FY 2022 levels.
In March, the House also passed HR 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act.
The legislation is aimed at increasing domestic energy production by streamlining permits to drill for oil and natural gas on federal lands and offshore. It would also end Biden’s moratorium on hydraulic fracking on federal lands.
Further, it would make it easier to obtain permits to mine for minerals used to produce microchips and electric car batteries, according to the bill’s sponsor, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise.
Scalise argued this policy change is essential to ending U.S. dependence on China, which manufactured 75 percent of the world’s lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars in 2021 versus just 7 percent built domestically.