WASHINGTON, DC—Congressman Paul D. Tonko (D-NY) delivered a statement on the House floor today strongly opposing the GOP bill, H.R. 1.
His full floor statement can be viewed HERE or read below as prepared for delivery.
M. Speaker, I rise in opposition to H.R. 1, the Polluters Over People Act.
When House Democrats had an opportunity to bring an H.R. 1 to the floor, it was to protect Americans’ sacred right to vote and curb the influence of money in politics.
Compare that to this H.R. 1, which is nothing short of a bonanza for corporate polluters.
It creates loopholes in our nation’s most important environmental laws— laws that exist to ensure Americans have clean air, clean water, and do not need to live in fear of industrial accidents in their backyards.
And it does this so that the richest oil and gas companies in the world can continue to achieve record breaking profits at the expense of everyday Americans.
We know the best way for us to avoid volatile fossil fuel price shocks is to become less reliant on fossil energy by transitioning to a clean energy future— one that will also protect our air and water, and create millions of well-paying American jobs.
This is exactly what the Inflation Reduction Act is doing.
New clean energy projects are underway across the country. And there have been tens of billions of dollars in domestic manufacturing announcements, which will ensure that solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, EVs, and the other technologies we will need will be made in America.
This bill seeks to stop that progress. It would repeal critical sections of the IRA.
The G.H.G. Reduction Fund will leverage private funding to make clean energy investments across the country, including in disadvantaged communities.
The Methane Emissions Reduction Program is going to drive down highly potent climate pollution from the oil and gas sector.
And new rebates will enable low- and moderate-income Americans to save significant money by upgrading their appliances.
These programs will be wiped out by this bill.
M. Speaker, I am not opposed to examining how we can improve permitting processes, but it must be done with the intention of accelerating the clean energy transition— building out our transmission infrastructure to enable our electricity system to be cleaner, more reliable, and more affordable.
Unfortunately, this bill is only interested in giveaways to outdated and polluting industries, not to bringing our energy system into the 21st century.
I urge Members to oppose it, and I yield back.