White House snubs American oil and gas in new “clean energy future” reforms

On Wednesday, the White House revealed its goals for permit reforms, aiming to back a “clean energy future” as per President Joe Biden’s objectives. The plan calls for responsible mining of critical minerals, expedited permits for renewable energy projects on federal lands, and an increase in grid capacity to facilitate the adoption of new clean energy generation. Notably, the proposal does not mention any incentives for American oil or gas production, and there is no mention of supporting natural gas pipelines or other fossil fuel projects in Senator Joe Manchin’s Building American Energy Security Act of 2023, which the White House supports despite not fully endorsing it.

According to White House Senior Clean Energy Advisor John Podesta, the administration is requesting that Congress expand on Senator Manchin’s bill with additional reforms after working to identify and address the associated challenges.

Although the White House touted its achievements in clean energy and highlighted the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), a signature climate law signed by President Joe Biden, as an example of its efforts, it acknowledged that it must accelerate its progress to meet its targets. Pressure from Democratic lawmakers and climate activists has intensified since the President approved the Willow oil drilling project in Alaska in March, urging the Biden administration to take stronger action against fossil fuels.

The administration’s plans include ending all subsidies to oil and gas companies in the U.S., as proposed in the budget for the fiscal year 2024, which is expected to save $31 billion annually. According to the White House, the Biden-Harris administration has overseen $470 billion in manufacturing and clean energy, with $220 billion in private sector investment since Biden took office in 2021.

Despite Manchin’s support for the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), he recently criticized the Biden administration for allowing certain allies to qualify for tax breaks intended for American manufacturers, which he believes undermines Congress’s goal of boosting U.S. manufacturing. During an April Senate hearing, he had a heated exchange with Secretary Jennifer Granholm over her agency’s support for the administration’s interpretation of the IRA, demanding that her office abide by the law.

The White House has indicated its willingness to urge Democrats to support Senator Manchin’s bill, following his previous unsuccessful attempt. In March, the House GOP passed many of his proposals in the Lower Energy Act of 2023. If these measures are endorsed, they could potentially create new opportunities within the energy sector.

Written by Staff Reports

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