ICYMI: E&E News: House GOP Targets Clean Energy Laws Despite Boons Back Home
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Republicans in Congress are attempting to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act by threatening to force default on the national debt, even as their districts have seen incredible job growth from the clean energy investments within it. Today, Emma Dumain and Timothy Cama with E&E News published a new piece calling attention to Congressional Republican hypocrisy – celebrating jobs they voted against, then planning to repeal the laws that made them happen. Many of the nearly 40 Republican Representatives whose districts are benefitting from the clean energy plan continue to be in denial about its key role in creating jobs. President Biden’s clean energy plan helped create over 140,000 jobs across the country, and Republican held districts benefited the most.
Key excerpts below:
“The Biden Clean Energy Plan has helped create more than 140,000 clean energy jobs across the U.S. — the majority of which are in Republican-held districts,” said Lori Lodes, executive director of the group Climate Power.
“Now MAGA extremists are threatening to implode our country’s economy — and the clean energy manufacturing boom that’s happening in their communities — to protect their own corporate, anti-climate interests,” she said.
According to data provided by Climate Power, which was then reviewed, vetted and confirmed by E&E News, at least 37 congressional districts currently represented by Republicans have welcomed expansions of new clean energy operations through the Inflation Reduction Act, the 2021 bipartisan infrastructure law or the CHIPS and Science Act.
GreenPower Motor Co. Inc.has said its electric school bus facility in South Charleston, W.Va., benefited from the infrastructure law’s clean school bus program, and it has highlighted how its buses can also get tax credits worth up to $40,000 from the Inflation Reduction Act.
Republican Rep. Carol Miller, who represents that area, said in a statement that while “hardworking businesses like GreenPower Motor are responding to the rules set by the federal government to bring much needed investment to West Virginia … we should have provided them with the ability to grow without sending American tax dollars to the Chinese Communist Party.”
She added that “the jobs West Virginia is creating through the so-called ‘Inflation Reduction Act’ come nowhere close to replacing the opportunities that liberal activists destroyed in my state. The faster we can repeal these IRA tax credits and replace them with incentives that fully support American manufacturing and energy production, the better.”
Not every Republican had an explanation ready for how they squared their opposition to the Inflation Reduction Act and infrastructure law with their support for the projects back home made possible by the laws.
In Clarksville, Tenn., for instance, which is part of Rep. Mark Green’s district, Microvast Holdings Inc. is planning to expand an existing facility with a new plant for battery components. The Department of Energy picked the plant for a $200 million award under an infrastructure law program meant to boost battery materials processing and battery manufacturing in October 2022.
That award is being scrutinized by GOP lawmakers over Microvast’s ties to China. DOE officials have said the money has not yet gone out while the agency continues to vet all of the award recipients.
Green said while he was concerned about the China connections, he didn’t feel prepared to talk about how the existence of the facility colors his view of the infrastructure law, which he voted against.
“I have to get some more information on it to answer the questions,” he said.