All Fuel Sources Must Speak with One Voice, Says Rep. David McKinley (R-WV)
January 22, 2021 - Reflecting on the tragic events at the Capitol on January 6, McKinley said that “all of us should be condemning the violence that occurred. The President is not the only one at fault with the 24/7 news, social media, and the unceasing hatred voiced by certain members of Congress also bearing some responsibility. Congress should tone down its rhetoric.” McKinley was addressing virtually the WV Mining Symposium held on January 12, 2021 in Charleston, WV and presented by the West Virginia Coal Association (WVCA).
McKinley commended Bill Raney for his years of leadership with WVCA. Chris Hamilton is an old friend and he is ready for the job. ”I would be remiss if I didn't mention the loss of two giants impacting the coal industry, Mike Meyer and Bob Murray. Mike was the Executive Editor of the Ogden Newspapers chain headquartered in Wheeling, WV with over 100 papers coast-to-coast. His editorials on behalf of coal helped temper the debate and his voice will surely be missed. Bob Murray was the most tenacious fighter for coal all across America for the past 20 years. Almost singlehandedly, he changed the political landscape of West Virginia and he, too, is going to be missed,” said McKinley.
So, what is the outlook for fossil fuels under President Biden? “Clearly the coal industry is entering a treacherous time. All fossil fuel sources - coal, gas and oil - must learn to speak with one voice putting aside their past differences. It's never more urgent than it is today,” said McKinley. “Democrats absolutely intend to renew their war on fossil fuels. They have the wind at their back as once again, liberal Democrats control the House, the Senate, and the Presidency. And they have the full support of a complacent national media. In a coordinated manner, they intend to continue the fundamental transformation of our energy sector that they began under President Obama, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi in 2009.”
Now combine that with the growing body of progressive extremists in the House, who are using their anti-fossil fuel fervor to destroy our fossil fuel industry. These people are calling for an end of fossil fuel use by 2030, but Biden has tempered this calling for 2035, just five years later. They're eliminating all carbon emissions from the power sector. This means no electricity from coal, gas or oil in just 14 years if Biden has his way. Unfortunately, the technology to remove this carbon from the atmosphere is just simply not available as yet.
Contributing to this treachery, Senator Schumer is calling for the eliminating of the filibuster. This Senate rule has been around for over 100 years and requires 60 percent of the Senate to approve legislation. Now he and the extremists are calling to revert back to a simple majority, 51 votes. This is the last tool that the minority have available in the Senate to block harmful legislation.
Without the filibuster, Democrats can pursue their agenda without any fear of reprisal. This could mean: citizenship for illegal immigrants; a $15 federal minimum wage; Medicare for all; statehood for the District of Columbia; and statehood for Puerto Rico. In so doing, that would guarantee that Republicans would never again be the majority party in the Senate. Biden's already rejoined the Paris Accord and put more pressure on fossil fuels in America. On federal land, this could ban pipelines and fracking, and at the same time halt all coal mining by canceling permits.
Nancy Pelosi is once again flexing her muscle as Speaker of the House. Look at just the Energy and Commerce Committee that McKinley has served on for the past ten years which has jurisdiction over fossil fuels. In the last Congress there were 55 members - 31 Democrats and 24 Republicans. Now. even though the Democrats lost as many as 14 seats in the election in November, Pelosi has already announced she's adding another Democrat to the committee. That's the power of being in the majority.
“How can Republicans support fossil fuels in this toxic political environment?” asked McKinley. “We're going to need to build coalitions with moderate Democrats and educate the public on the shortcomings of renewables. They're not reliable for baseload. As former Secretary of Energy, Moniz, once stated, ‘100 percent renewables are not realistic and certainly not cost effective’. In 2019, it was reported that the U.S. alone will need 900 gigawatts of energy storage capacity, yet globally there's only 5.5 gigawatts of battery storage,” said McKinley. The Manhattan Institute found that it would take one Tesla factory, just one factory, 500 years to make enough batteries to power the United States for one day, 500 years for one day. Serious environmental issues still surround the supply chain for cobalt and lithium, critical ingredients for batteries.
“With House Bill 90-54, we've developed a bipartisan pragmatic solution called Innovate First, Regulate Later,” said McKinley. “I introduced the bill last year with Oregon Democrat Rep. Kirk Shrader. It requires ten years of intense uninterrupted federal funding for innovation and research, then followed by gradual 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, not 100 percent that's being pushed by Joe Biden. As a result, fossil fuels would remain part of the energy mix. It would help develop and export this technology and ship it to other nations around the world.”
Experts testified to the Energy and Commerce Committee last year, that without a comparable reduction in carbon emissions from China and India, and even if the United States stopped using fossil fuels altogether, stopped totally, America would still experience wildfires on the West Coast, droughts in the Midwest, and hurricanes on the East Coast. This bill has broad support including utilities, NGOs, environmental groups and labor as well as people like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, United Mine Workers, and even the National Wildlife Federation. So, once the Democrats focus on what's good for the nation, they will once again renew the war on fossil fuels in a very robust way.
This is not the time to wave the white flag as McKinley is Chairman of the Congressional Coal Caucus and Congress can't let this happen. The plan is simple. One, supporters in Congress will make every effort to redirect the narrative by developing bipartisan solutions on dealing with carbon emissions. Two, use the Courts as the judicial backstop, remembering Trump confirmed three Supreme Court justices and 233 conservative federal judges. Three, most importantly, everyone must help all across America within the industry. The majority of the house must be won back in 2022.
“You've all heard the message what Joe Biden and the extremists are talking about: ending fossil fuel use by 2035, fourteen years from now,” said McKinley. “This may be a treacherous time but we can't lose faith. Our country is dependent on you for producing our power. You made us the greatest nation in the world. Thank you for all that you've done. Be safe out there. God bless all of you.”