Yesterday, the White House stated that President Biden plans to veto a Republican created, climate permitting bill if it were to pass through Congress. The bill, the Lower Energy Costs Fund, outlines climate legislation that would double the cost of energy efficient upgrades used by families to reduce household utility bills. It will also repeal programs within the Inflation Reduction Act, such as the methane tax, and the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, enacted to nationally cut energy costs and boost economic development in rural and urban communities.  

If passed through and approved, the bill will codify a law that the Trump administration sought to pass. Limiting reviews and public input on fossil fuels and road building, ultimately weakening the National Environmental Policy Act conservation law. Republicans plan on bringing forth the bill to the House of Representatives this week, their expectations are high despite the fact they hold a slim majority. Unfortunately the circumstance is swapped if passed into the Senate, where Democrats hold a similarly slim majority. Senate Majority Leader, Chuck Schumer of the Democratic party feels adamant that the bill is “dead on arrival” if brought into the Senate. 

“H.R.1 will lock America into expensive and volatile dirty sources of energy and will set America back a decade or more in our transition towards clean, affordable energy. The package is a wish list for Big Oil, gutting important environmental safeguards on fossil fuel projects,” stated Schumer on the Senate floor. 

The House bill will also make efforts to shut down President Biden’s decision to eliminate the Keystone XL pipeline, and prohibit bans on fracking, as well as mandating oil and gas sales. Along with the verbal efforts of Senator Schumer, Senator Ed Markey outlined promising progressive legislation focusing on environmental priorities. It was to include historic levels of funding for any environmental justice programs and NEPA implementation. Information has not yet been stated on whether or not this legislation is a repercussion to the LECF, or if independent. 

ClearView Energy Partners, a non-partisan research group added in a few opinions. They believe that the bill could establish a conversation between the House and Senate regarding compromising legislation. This potential legislation would be included in a wider bill, developed later on in the year. This is all not to say it will occur, but the group has their theories. 

Running off the theory presented by ClearView, this bill has actually opened the opportunity for bi-partisan conversations. According to Republican Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, he aims to work with the Democratic party in regards to developing a permitting deal. In hopes to be passed through by Republicans once the controversy over the LECF subsides. Despite Senator Schumer’s criticism and harsh words about the LECF, he held out the potential for participation in the bi-partisan discussion. 

“I’m glad that there are good-faith talks underway right now between both parties in both houses to figure out what sort of permitting deal is possible,” stated Schumer.