Greg Pence Voices Concerns With One-Size-Fits-All Mandates at Energy and Commerce Hearing

March 25, 2021
Press Release

Columbus, IN – U.S. Congressman Greg Pence (IN-06) participated in the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy hearing entitled, “The CLEAN Future Act: Powering a Resilient and Prosperous America.” Rep. Pence voiced concerns with the Democrats’ one-size-fits-all mandates in the CLEAN Future Act, and the impact these mandates will have on Hoosiers in the Crossroads of America.

Rep. Pence’s full remarks and questions are transcribed as prepared for delivery below.  

Thank you, Chairman Rush and Ranking Member Upton, for holding this hearing.

Like my colleagues on this esteemed committee, I support a diverse, all the above strategy for energy production.

But I am concerned that the one-size-fits-all mandates in the CLEAN Future Act far outpace the current state of technology, leaving consumers to foot the bill for higher costs on everything from electricity prices and heating their home to the appliances they’ll need to buy from the department store.

All the while, power generation will not have the security of base-load supply from natural gas or coal, resulting in a less reliable grid.

The provisions for clean energy standards, micro-grids, and distributed energy systems, while good in academic theory, all rely on the adoption of technology that is still bridging the gap between basic research and commercialization.

In a mere two and a half years, starting in 2023, zero emission electricity requirements will begin straining the budgets of our power sector.

Even if they started this afternoon, public power agencies, electric co-ops, and utilities in my district will be hard pressed to incorporate even more renewable energy generation or carbon mitigating equipment into their already robust portfolios.

These entities will have no other choice than to raise prices on their ratepayers.

This bill disregards critical things like permitting reforms that will be necessary to meet its own timeline for infrastructure construction. Carbon capture equipment alone may take five years to be fully operational.

To find out who will pay for these programs, look no further than to the provisions on electric vehicle infrastructure buildout.

To support the extensive electric vehicle network this bill envisions, the language acknowledges expected price increases and gives the green light to pass these costs on to utility customers as a whole.

Since electric vehicles will be best suited for urban centers and densely populated areas, rural customers like those in Southeast Indiana will still foot the bill.

Companies that will likely take advantage of these electric vehicle charging stations will look to the highest rate of return on their investment.

Meaning, they will look towards cities and not the rural and hard to reach parts of our country.

Even without these extensive subsidy programs that we have packed into this bill, auto manufacturers operating in the free market are already moving in this direction.

Companies throughout Indiana’s Sixth District are leading the way to produce innovative batteries, hybrid engines, and alternative transportation fuel vehicles.

But until this technology can sustain the mileage requirements for those beyond densely populated areas, this bill will benefit urban centers at the expense of rural America.

Lastly, I am concerned about the implications this bill will have on pensions that are tied to the companies this bill seeks to put out of business.

What happens to the hardworking Hoosiers nearing the retirement age?

What will happen to local taxpayers that are investing their savings in anchor institutions in the community that will go under if this bill is signed into law?

I don’t think my democratic colleagues are prepared for the extensive implications this will have on our communities.

Mr. Hofmann,

This bill would implement an untested “transition” program for energy workers.

The provisions in this bill would even target the manufacturing sector for light and heavy-duty vehicles, adversely affecting earnings as well

As the crossroads of America, these programs will directly impact hardworking Hoosiers who have stable, good paying jobs producing the necessary transportation equipment that our country currently relies on to move goods along our highways.

I’ve watched a decades long destruction of the middle-class in Indiana as great paying manufacturing jobs have been shipped overseas, leaving Hoosiers with few options to provide for their family.

Will the transformative measures of this bill continue a similar assault on the middle-class in our community?

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Congressman Greg Pence represents Indiana’s 6th District. From Columbus, Indiana, Pence advocates for conservative Hoosier values as a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.