Build Back Beijing: Democrats’ Anti-Energy Bill Would Hurt Families and Help China
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Democrats’ reckless tax and spending spree:
“Two weeks ago, President Biden and his team flew to Glasgow for a glitzy conference. World leaders traveled there to attend one another’s speeches on carbon emissions and the climate.
“The world’s largest emitter was absent. China pumps out more than a quarter of the entire world’s emissions but President Xi didn’t bother to attend this conference.
“Putin didn’t show up either. He and his cronies in Moscow are too busy using Russia’s natural gas stranglehold to make energy hostages out of our European friends who rushed too naively towards renewables.
“This goes to the core problems with the anti-energy agenda that liberal elites want to thrust on our country. Maximum self-inflicted pain for American families… in exchange for no meaningful global gains.
“They’d have America tie one hand behind our back while our competitors and adversaries keep right on going.
“Hurts families… helps China.
“Across the country, working families are already worrying about the big, potentially historic spikes in energy costs and heating bills that are heading their way.
“Here’s a New York Times headline from last week: ‘Winter Heating Bills Loom as the Next Inflation Threat.’
“Futures contracts for home heating fuels have skyrocketed in price. Natural gas futures have just about doubled from last year. For heating oil and propane, it’s even worse.
“Our colleagues on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee are holding a hearing this very morning on rising heating costs.
“In Kentucky, about 4 in 10 households are heated by natural gas. Families are about to get slammed.
“Even more Kentucky families rely on straight electricity for their heat. And in our state, more than two-thirds of our electrical power comes from coal. Coal literally keeps the lights on and the cold out.
“That’s why the original Obama-Biden war on coal hit states like Kentucky so hard. And it’s why the even more radical sequel that Democrats are planning next would fall on the heartland like a ton of bricks.
“The President’s special envoy for climate issues, John Kerry, says, ‘[Y]ou have to phase down coal before you can end coal.’ One of the President’s nominees to the Treasury Department has admitted that small producers of affordable American energy, ‘are going to probably go bankrupt in short order.’
“American families are staring down the barrel of skyrocketing heating bills, and the Democrats’ response is to go to war against affordable American energy.
“The reckless taxing and spending spree they’re writing behind closed doors and want to pass in a matter of weeks would spend hundreds of billions of dollars on Green New Deal-type policies that would saddle families with even higher prices and make our nation even more dependent on Russia and the Middle East.
“Of course, energy inflation is just one part of the huge inflation crisis that Democrats have unleashed.
“According to reports on one new survey, ninety percent of Americans are either somewhat concerned or very concerned about inflation and rising costs. Nine in 10 households are hurting.
“67% of the country, two thirds, say Washington needs to stop printing and spending so much and driving prices even higher.
“Energy bills and gas prices are just one corner of this inflation crisis. But Democrats want to ignore the people, plow ahead, and spend trillions more.
“Even liberal economists who like the Democrats’ reckless taxing and spending spree because they agree with the far-left transformation admit that it would make inflation even worse next year.
“There is no part of our economy that can afford another massive dose of socialism.
“But Democrats are specifically targeting American energy to get hit especially hard.
“They’re planning direct new taxes, new fees, and new regulatory mandates for energy producers.
“They want to make affordable, reliable energy artificially expensive to force Americans toward the less affordable, less reliable forms of energy that elite liberals would rather they use.
“It would hurt families badly… and it would help China in a big way.
“That’s because the Biden Administration doesn’t have any strategic plan to snap its fingers and turn our massive country into some green utopia overnight.
“They just want to throw boatloads of government money at things like solar panels and electric vehicles and hope it all works out.
“But China absolutely dominates these supply chains. For lithium batteries. For solar panels. For practically all these fashionable purchases into which Democrats want to dump all this money.
“In all likelihood, Democrats’ supposedly ‘green’ agenda would just provide a massive one-way gift to our adversary, the world’s number-one emitter, the Chinese Communist Party.
“This isn’t ‘Build Back Better.’ It’s ‘Build Back Beijing!’
“Here’s just one example.
“There’s a raw material called polysilicon that is crucial for solar panels. According to the New York Times, more than 80 percent of the entire world’s supply comes from China. About half of the world’s supply comes just from the Xinjiang province, where China is brutalizing the Uyghur minority with tactics that include forced labor.
“There are other key resources including critical minerals where China has similar strangleholds.
“Here are some recent headlines:
“‘Lithium Shortage May Stall Electric Car Revolution and Embed China’s Lead.’
“‘China’s lithium companies are in an investment frenzy.’
“And just like liberal policies are hostile to the American energy we produce here at home, they are also hostile to exploring for these critical minerals here at home.
“Their massive proposal is packed with anti-hard-rock-mining provisions that would make it even harder to stand up American supply chains for critical minerals.
“So here’s the bottom line, Mr. President. American families don’t want Washington politicians waging a holy war on fossil fuels in the first place. They can’t afford that nonsense.
“But it’s even more absurd that Democrats’ top-down schemes would just increase China’s wealth and dominance along the way.
“They don’t have some smart master plan to invest in America’s future. They’ve got a plan to Build Back Beijing. Raise American families’ gas prices and heating bills even higher so that we could massively stimulate Chinese export markets.
“Hurt families; help China. Every piece of their reckless policies fit this mold.”
Related Issues: Taxes, China, Inflation, Green New Deal, Russia, Labor, Middle Class, Small Business, Energy, Senate Democrats, Tax Reform, Coal