Oklahoma Congressman Markwayne Mullin admits he’s concerned the recently unveiled climate plan by Democrats in the House will turn the country’s energy independence into “energy dependence” and because of their power on capitol hill, it will also likely happen.
He believes Democrats pushing the Climate Leadership and Environmental Action for our Nation’s Future act will probably get most of their bills approved in the U.S. House, despite his opposition to their efforts. The Senate might be another story.
The CLEAN act requires 80% clean electricity by 2030 and 100% by 2035 and also sets a goal of a fully decarbonized economy by 2050.
What the Biden administration and Democrats in control of the House want in eliminating oil and gas and moving toward wind and solar power—“it’s not possible,” said Rep. Mullin.
“They have no plan to replace it and that’s a very scary process we’re moving to. There’s zero ability for us to actually have enough renewables to replace the fossil fuel energy, coal and natural gas,” he said in an interview this week with OK Energy Today.
Mullin is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and says he believes if the Biden administration continues its anti-oil and gas efforts, it will only make the U.S. more dependent on China and Saudi Arabia rather than being energy independent.
“If we went to solar and to wind only, the land mass it would take would be the entire state of Texas,” he argued, pointing out there is also the issue of not being able to store the power produced by the two renewables.
“We don’t have the capabilities to storing wind or storing solar—we know both of those are not certainly reliable. There’s not always going to be wind blowing and sun shining—that’s why you have rolling blackouts in California.”
Then there’s the issue of batteries.
“When we start talking about batteries, if the Tesla battery plant did nothing but produce batteries to store energy, it would take them 500 years to produce a battery or batteries to meet today’s need of storing power,” said Rep. Mullin.
Throw in the rare earth-material issue and it becomes more complicated. A fight’s underway in Utah on mining permits for the ability to manufacture lithium batteries.
“Yeah, and all that’s gonna do is make us more dependent on China for the rare earth material that we’re gonna need for batteries,” added the congressman.
The CLEAN act promoted by the Democratic leadership in the House claims its clean power would also come from existing nuclear energy, which, as Rep. Mullin pointed out, has not been supported by Democrats in the past.
Nuclear power plants have 25-year permits and a new nuclear plant hasn’t been constructed in the last decade, said Mullin.
“And we don’t allow the permits to move forward and they say they’re not gonna let that happen—and by the way, at best about 15 years of nuclear energy remains in the U.S.—that’s when the last plant will go off line.”
Electric vehicles? Mullin argues the technology for EVs evolves into a rural versus urban. Electric cars might be fine in large cities but not so in Oklahoma and other rural states where long-distance travel is necessary.
“Are they gonna force me to buy a new tractor?” he asked while pointing out electric trucks don’t have the power to pull his trailers to haul the cattle on his eastern Oklahoma ranch.
“The technology doesn’t even exist yet for farm equipment–so how are you gonna go to zero emissions on that?”
Mullin says the math doesn’t add up.
“They don’t care how it’s done. They don’t care what kind of havoc it causes on the economy like President Biden out there saying that all the oil and gas industry workers can just transfer over to renewables.”
Mullin pointed out the lack of understanding of the importance of the oil and gas industry to the nation noting the story earlier in the week about the shortage of foam for car seats in the auto industry–a shortage that resulted from the February storm shutdown of Texas oil refineries.
The Republican congressman said a slow down of the manufacture of micro chips is another issue caused by the refinery shutdowns.
“Every chip, every component, every piece of rubber, the windshield, all that comes from the oil and gas industry—all that is a byproduct of oil.”
How will the nation pay for such clean environmental efforts? The CLEAN act does not include a carbon tax which is supported by some Republicans and companies.
Not by Rep. Mullin.
“No. They gotta figure out a way to pay for this but I’m not for any type of tax— period—let the consumers decide.”
Mullin took the stance that if a tax is charged, then Washington, D-C “elites” will decide how to spend the money paid for by taxpayers.
“Their interest isn’t our interest.”
Mullin’s comments echo what other Republicans in the House have claimed–that the mandates of the bill will only increase energy prices across the U.S. and make the country more reliant on Chinese critical mineral supplies.