Cassidy highlights need for permitting reform, lower energy costs to compete with China

Special to the American Press

U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., highlighted the need for continued fossil fuel production to lower energy costs, support U.S. competitiveness, and bolster baseload electricity availability at a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today. Cassidy questioned leaders in the U.S. energy space on the role of fossil fuels and the inadequacy of renewable energy to support U.S. electricity demand. He also stressed the need to support American energy production to remain competitive with China.

“[W]hen we speak about higher energy costs—and they’ve risen significantly during this administration—part of that is the, kind of, unrealized productivity of sunk assets,” said Dr. Cassidy referring to a closed-down American Electric Power Company plant in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“That is regressive. Poorer people pay a greater percent of their income for this unrealized potential,” Cassidy continued.

Cassidy emphasized the need for permitting reform, highlighting his REPAIR Act, a juridical reform bill to streamline the permitting process for U.S. energy, manufacturing, and critical infrastructure projects. Cassidy recently discussed his permitting reform efforts op-ed in the Washington Times as well.

“Lawsuit after lawsuit can effectively tie up something and effectively kill a project,” Cassidy said. “I’d like to say that folks on the other side of the dais want powerlines, and the folks on this side want pipelines, but we really want both because we know that both are essential.”

Cassidy later highlighted China’s extensive use of coal plants to fuel their manufacturing, undercutting U.S. manufacturers who must comply with stringent environmental standards.

“Sixty percent of Chinese power is generated by coal. They typically don’t turn on their scrubbers because it decreases the efficiency. Often times, they are built on the Pacific coast which means the trade winds blow them over to the United States. To the degree that our energy policy increases the cost of energy and therefore encourages someone to move to China, we are actually worsening global greenhouse gas emissions. Because we’re increasing consumption of Chinese coal-fired electricity as opposed to clean-burning U.S. electricity,” Cassidy said. 

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