House’s “Energy Week” Showers Fossil Fuel Industry with Love

Jonathan Cohn
3 min readMar 26, 2024

Rather than doing anything productive, the ever-narrowing House Republican majority decided to label last week “energy week” in order to pass a series of bills to boost the profits of fossil fuel companies.

Decrying Carbon Pricing

The House voted 222 to 196 to pass a resolution decrying the idea of a carbon tax — lying about what the impacts would be and calling for greater fossil fuel extraction.

10 Democrats joined Republicans to vote for it, and 1 Republican — Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) — voted against it.

Those 10 Democrats were Colin Allred (TX-32), Yadira Caraveo (CO-08), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Don Davis (NC-01), Ruben Gallego (AZ-03), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), Jared Moskowitz (FL-23), Mary Peltola (AK-AL), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03), and Gabe Vasquez (NM-02).

Denouncing Biden’s Energy Policies

The House also voted 217 to 210 in favor of a resolution denouncing Biden’s energy policies as too hostile to fossil fuels.

Four Democrats joined Republicans here: Don Davis (NC-01), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), Mary Peltola (AK-AL), and Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03).

Banning Fracking Moratoriums

Biden has not expressed an intent to put a moratorium on fracking, a type of fossil fuel extraction that has been notorious for polluting water sources and damaging public health.

Nonetheless, the House voted 229 to 188 to prevent him from ever doing so.

Fifteen Democrats joined Republicans here: Colin Allred (TX-32), Sanford Bishop (GA-02), Brendan Boyle (PA-02), Yadira Caraveo (CO-08), Matt Cartwright (PA-08), Jim Costa (CA-21), Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Lizzie Fletcher (TX-07), Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34), Chrissy Houlahan (PA-06), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Mary Peltola (AK-AL), Marie Gluesenkamp Perez (WA-03), Gabe Vasquez (NM-02), and Marc Veasey (TX-33).

Rolling Back the Clean Water Act

The House also voted to pass legislation to roll back the EPA’s powers under the Clean Water Act. In particular, the bill (H.R.7023) would hamstring the EPA’s oversight of large-scale projects, make it harder for the government to take legal action against polluters, and remove opportunities for local governments to give input on projects affecting their communities.

The bill passed 213 to 205. Two Democrat — Henry Cuellar (TX-28) and Don Davis (NC-01) — joined Republicans in voting for it. Morgan Griffith (VA-09) joined Democrats in voting against it.

Paying for the Oil and Gas Industry’s Own Mess

The Inflation Reduction Act contained reforms to oil and gas leasing that increased the royalty rates on drilling on public lands and required industry to clean up their own messes. The Bureau of Land Management recently issued a new rule to implement these reforms, and Republicans and their fossil fuel backers are mad.

The House voted 216 to 200 to withdraw BLM’s proposed rule, a large giveaway to the dirtiest polluters. Joining Republicans were Henry Cuellar (TX-28), Don Davis (NC-01), and Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34).

Repealing IRA Climate Programs

The House also voted to repeal two Inflation Reduction Act emissions reduction programs.

The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund is a $27 billion fund created to (1) reduce greenhouse gas emissions and other air pollutants; (2) deliver the benefits of greenhouse gas- and air pollution-reducing projects to American communities, particularly low-income and disadvantaged communities; and (3) mobilize financing and private capital to stimulate additional deployment of greenhouse gas and air pollution reducing projects.

The Methane Emissions Reduction Program will provide more than $1 billion in financial and technical assistance for reducing emissions from the oil and gas sector.

The repeal of these programs passed 209 to 204. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-34) joined Republicans in voting for it, and Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) joined Democrats in voting against it.



Jonathan Cohn

Editor. Bibliophile. Gadfly. Environmentalist. Super-volunteer for progressive campaigns. Boston by way of Baltimore, London, NYC, DC, and Philly.