Ranking Member Grijalva Blasts House Passage of Republicans’ Polluters Over People 2.0 Bills

WASHINGTON – House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.) today issued the following statement on the passage of two Natural Resources bills included in House Republicans’ Energy Week, fittingly dubbed “Polluters Over People 2.0.” These bills will give more handouts to the fossil fuel industry, even though oil companies are still making record-shattering profits by taking billions in taxpayer-funded subsidies, price-gouging working families, and leaving the American people to shoulder the health, safety, climate, and financial consequences of their mess. CLICK HERE for a fact sheet on both bills.

“Nearly a year to the day after they passed their Polluters Over People Act, House Republicans are giving us a déjà vu moment with even more handouts for their Big Oil friends,” said Ranking Member Grijalva. “Apparently, the hundreds of billions that American taxpayers already give the fossil fuel industry each year aren’t enough; MAGA Republicans want to lock in rock-bottom royalty rates, insufficient bond amounts, and other undeserved high-dollar gifts for Big Oil for the foreseeable future.

“The fossil fuel industry has repeatedly and relentlessly lied about climate change, price-gouged American families at the pump, dumped their most toxic messes on communities of color, and skirted accountability at every turn. Beating back Big Oil’s corporate malfeasance and greed should be a top priority of Congress. But instead, under House Republicans’ watch, we find ourselves yet again in the midst of an incomprehensible political campaign to give oil and gas companies even more opportunities to prey on the American people. I hope this second round of the GOP’s Polluters Over People agenda on the House floor is their last, but I’m already bracing myself for disappointment.”

Additional Background

Last March, House Republicans’ passed H.R. 1, the “Polluters Over People Act,” a shameless giveaway of handouts and loopholes to the oil, gas, mining, and other polluting industries. Of note, the House has yet to send H.R. 1 to the Senate for consideration.

Oil and gas companies are already heavily subsidized. According to the International Monetary Fund, American taxpayers spend $649 billion per year subsidizing the fossil fuel industry when both direct and indirect costs of fossil fuel production are accounted for, including health, environmental, and climate costs. The direct subsidies include over 13 tax breaks, below-market lease and royalty rates, fossil fuel research and development, and financing of international fossil fuel projects.

The Natural Resources bills that passed today as part of Republicans’ Polluters Over People 2.0 include: 

  • H.R. 6009Restoring American Energy Dominance Act (Boebert, R-Colo). This bill would repeal the Bureau of Land Management’s recently proposed rule to implement long overdue reforms for onshore oil and gas leasing, including reforms that were passed in the Inflation Reduction Act. The reforms include increased royalty rates, increased minimum bond amounts, and other fiscal protections that ensure American taxpayers receive a fairer return for oil and gas produced on public lands.
  • H.R. 1121 - Protecting American Energy Production Act (Duncan, R-S.C.). This bill is a ban on fracking bans; it prohibits the president from declaring a moratorium on hydraulic fracturing for oil and gas and expresses a sense of Congress that the regulation of fracking should stay in the hands of the states. President Biden has made no indication that he plans to ban fracking. However, he should have the full range of tools to protect public health, safety, and the environment if so needed. The language of this bill already passed the House in H.R. 1. 

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