House Republicans continue to salivate over their opportunities to hasten the destruction of democracy and the planet if they prevail in next week’s midterm elections. They’ve figured out the part about making Trump’s tax cuts for rich people permanent, cutting Social Security and Medicare for the next bunch of retirees, making Hunter Biden testify about ... things, destabilizing the global economy, and generally making whatever they can that’s already bad 10 times worse. They just haven’t figured out how to govern.
Politico calls their latest foray into “policy” an “ambitious energy agenda.” By which they mean opening up more public lands to oil and gas drilling and doing it faster, and “probes of how the Biden administration is spending its hundreds of billions in climate dollars.” Because investigating the Biden administration somehow counts as a policy agenda—or at least that’s how the GOP and Politico decided how to sell it.
It’s “drill baby, drill” for this decade, being framed as “measures to stimulate oil and gas production, ease permitting regulations and seek to reduce reliance on China and Russia for critical materials.” It’s about letting the fossil fuel industry get into those protected public lands they always want to get their hands on, even while there are more than 9,000 inactive oil and gas leases that are already approved and not being used, as President Joe Biden pointed out earlier this year. That potentially includes leases issued back in the Obama administration.
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That’s not the only thing that goes back to the Obama administration that’s in the House GOP’s big so-called ‘energy agenda.’ They’re resorting to dragging out old, supposed scandals to justify what they insist will be oversight, including new loan guarantee programs through the Department of Energy to help build and boost renewable energy infrastructure and production. The would-be new chair of the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee, Washington Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, is calling the new loan guarantees “Solyndra on steroids.”
You might remember Solyndra as one of the “scandals” Republicans tried to cook up during the completely un-scandalous Obama administration. It was a solar startup that received loan guarantees but failed in 2011. It received about $500 million in loan guarantees, a small fraction of the $90 billion the Obama administration put into clean energy programs. The problem they’ve got trying to push that line, however, is that much of the new investment in the Biden programs is going to red states. Even Republicans see that, though not House Republicans.
“It will be super interesting to see how Republicans balance the desire to conduct investigations and find ‘the next Solyndra’ against the fact that Republican states and districts will disproportionately benefit from the investment, construction and job creation that flows from what Democrats just did via reconciliation.” That’s coming from a Republican lobbyist, Colin Hayes, who is a former Republican staff director of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
That’s not going to keep them from trying, though. They’ve got years of grievances to work through, as House Oversight and Reform ranking member James Comer (R-KY) told Politico: “Those include the ‘canceling’ of the Keystone XL pipeline and efforts to restrict oil and gas leasing on federal lands, as well as ways in which the Securities and Exchange Commission ‘is pushing President Biden’s radical climate agenda through regulation that could drive up the costs of goods and services for Americans.’”
You knew they would bring up Keystone XL, right?
There is no policy agenda from Republicans. There won’t be a policy agenda from Republicans. There’s tax cuts and there’s debt ceiling default and government shutdowns and “investigations” of nonexistent Democratic scandals. And there’s vengeance, the one true motivation of Republicans. And there’s destruction. Lots of destruction.
There’s a lot of work to do in the next week to keep that from happening. Here’s comprehensive list of the ways you can get involved to change the outcome of the 2022 election, why these activities will make a difference, and how to decide which ones are right for you. Scroll down to look at all of your options.