The House of Representatives had an opportunity this week to take meaningful steps toward combating climate change. But instead of proposing bipartisan reforms that would enable new clean energy technologies to flourish, Democrats opted to politicize science and add costly new regulatory hurdles that would do nothing to reduce global emissions.
Inside the new 900-page Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act is a proposal to adopt a new “community-based science” model that allows for “voluntary public participation in the scientific process.” This means that instead of allowing scientists to have the final say in conducting experiments, collecting data, interpreting results, and developing new technologies, the so-called “party of science” would let everyone have a say. They call it the “democratization of science” — and if you’re against it, you’re probably against democracy, too.
In another attempt to politicize science, the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act proposes establishing a new 26-person Environmental Justice Advisory Council to ensure the “fair treatment” of different groups based on race, ethnicity, and socioeconomic status. They would accomplish this by taking the already cumbersome National Environmental Policy Act review process, which is used to approve new energy and infrastructure projects, and require these projects to undergo an “environmental justice” review. This review would need the consultation and meaningful participation of different groups, likely leading to long and costly litigation. Instead of accomplishing net-zero carbon emissions, this proposal would result in net-zero job growth. And instead of more justice, the Environmental Justice Advisory Council would result in fewer clean energy options for underserved communities.
Democrats claim to have the moral high ground when talking about their lofty goals of decarbonizing our economy in the next decade. But by prioritizing complex regulations and woke mandates over innovation and markets, they curtail the causes they claim to support.
Despite the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act featuring some good proposals, Democrats inserted so many social justice poison pills that the legislative package is unworkable. On Monday, the White House issued a veto threat. The Left and the media will use this as evidence to say Republicans don’t care about climate change, but as the White House said in a statement:
The Administration supports clean energy, job development, and the innovation economy and adheres to a bottom-up energy philosophy that promotes free-markets, funds scientific research, and honors the choices of producers and consumers. This bill, however, would implement a top-down approach that would undermine the Administration’s deregulatory agenda and empower the government to select favored solutions while reinstating big-government policies and programs.
Republicans know the regulatory process has to be workable for companies to be able to succeed in not only innovating clean-energy technologies, but actually getting them into communities that need them most. They have already led on a number of bipartisan bills to make technologies such as advanced nuclear energy, carbon capture, and energy storage more viable. And this week, they introduced legislation that would make innovation possible by making the regulatory process more efficient for clean energy companies to build.
Instead of furthering an agenda that’s designed to appease far-Left activist mobs, Democrats should work across the aisle with their Republican colleagues who are offering serious, science-based solutions for a clean energy future.
So, don’t believe the false narrative that Republicans aren’t doing anything to reduce global emissions. Considering the anti-science framework of the Clean Economy Jobs and Innovation Act, it’s quite the opposite. Republicans are serious, and it’s time Democrats are, too.