Republican energy package, including Stauber's mine permit reform bill, passes House
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the bill was "dead on arrival" and President Joe Biden said he'd veto it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Republican energy package, which includes U.s. Rep. Pete Stauber’s mine permitting reform bill, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday.
H.R. 1, called the “Lower Energy Costs Act,” passed the House with a 224-204 vote. Four Democrats voted for the bill and one Republican voted against it. But it’s not expected to go any further than that.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said the Senate would not take up the bill, calling it “dead on arrival” in a news release Thursday. And President Joe Biden said he’d veto it, Reuters reported.
The bill aims to expand domestic mining and fossil fuel production, but opponents say it would weaken the National Environmental Policy Act, or NEPA.
It would also reverse parts of the Inflation Reduction Act, a major piece of climate change legislation, including eliminating a fee on the greenhouse gas methane. Biden said one of the reasons he'd oppose the bill was its cuts to a rebate program for energy-efficient appliances.
Permitting reform could be one area that gains bipartisan support, particularly for clean energy projects and new transmission lines.
But the House bill was largely focused on expanding access to fossil fuels at a time when the country should be weaning off them in favor of carbon-free sources in the face of climate change, Democrats said.
“Transmission is, of course, hugely important to increasing access on clean energy, but the Republican plan hardly even mentions it,” Schumer said in the release. “So again, the way to do this, Republicans in the House, is in a bipartisan way. We have a Republican House. We have a Democratic Senate. No party is going to be able to jam its way through without consulting the other side.”
Still, Stauber, a Republican from Hermantown, celebrated the passage of the bill Thursday.
“Supporters of mining, oil and gas, wind, solar energy, building transmission lines, or building infrastructure like roads and bridges, have all acknowledged the need for permitting reform, and this is why I was glad to see the bill pass with bipartisan support in the House,” Stauber said in a news release. “If the Senate is serious about the need for permitting reform, they should waste no time in bringing up H.R. 1 for a vote.”