The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

House Passes Republican Energy Agenda (HR1) to Prop Up Fossil Fuel Corporations Instead of Protecting the Planet and Its People

Today, the House passed H.R. 1, better named the "Polluters Over People" Act, which paves the way for corporate polluters to develop new fossil fuel infrastructure backed by taxpayer-funded subsidies, hindering a just transition to affordable and reliable clean energy.

The Polluters Over People Act is a clear reflection of the fossil fuel industries' influence over elected officials who have backed a bill that would increase profits for Big Oil & Gas and fail to act on climate, jobs, and justice:

  • Instead of stabilizing the economy, H.R. 1 would increase the deficit over the 2023-2033 period by roughly $2.4 billion by reducing direct spending by $4 billion and reducing revenues by $6.4 billion.
  • H.R. 1 attacks half a decade of environmental protections, including provisions in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act, compromising public input processes on federal energy projects that can hurt the communities and Tribes who live beside toxic projects.
  • By fast-tracking and rubber-stamping approvals for pipelines, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports, oil & gas leases on federal lands, and mining on public lands, the Polluters Over People Act maintains our overreliance on unstable and costly fossil fuels to the benefit of industry profit margins.
  • H.R. 1 is a clear attack on the climate by repealing the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, Methane Emissions Reduction Program, and investments in home electrification rebates, tools to reduce climate change-causing pollution.

In contrast to the Republican energy plan, Progressives have a path forward for our country that would reduce the cost of energy for everyday people, create new, local jobs for working families, and mitigate the climate crisis at the scale of action needed, all while reducing the national deficit by $252 billion.

In response to the House passage of the Polluters Over People Act, the Green New Deal Network—a coalition of 15 national organizations and 25 state tables—is demanding that Senator Schumer, Senate Democrats, and President Biden halt the progress of a bill that will undo decades of action on climate, jobs, and justice:

"The bottom line is that the Polluters Over People Act is nothing more than an inflation-causing and national debt-raising cash cow that explicitly benefits the fossil-fuel industry and corporations that are resisting the transition to clean energy. Republicans and the supporters of H.R. 1 are making it abundantly clear they're beholden to the fossil-fuel lobby over protecting frontline communities that need government action on the climate crisis and environmental injustices," said Kaniela Ing, National Director at the Green New Deal Network. "President Biden and Democrats in the Senate must hold the line on rejecting H. R. 1 by acting to protect our progress on climate action and rejecting Republicans' campaign to enrich their fossil-fuel industry buddies."

"At a time when toxic and climate disasters are on the rise, the need to protect bedrock environmental protections could not be more urgent. Yet, those backed by fossil fuel lobbyists in Congress continue to cater to their corporate sponsors rather than their own constituents. The passage of the Polluters Over People Act (HR1) in the House is simply another handout to dirty industry that will only fast track and expand harmful polluting projects in frontline communities," said Marion Gee, Co-Executive Director at the Climate Justice Alliance.

"H.R. 1 is a laundry list of giveaways to greedy, polluting corporations. Republicans are working with fossil fuel polluters to push harmful, dirty energy while undoing bedrock environmental protections for their monetary gain. Frontline communities are fighting back against dirty energy and harmful false solutions that we don't need and don't want. We stopped Manchin's dirty energy deal, and we will stop this heinous package that endangers frontline environmental justice communities," said Adrien Salazar, Policy Director at Grassroots Global Justice. "To deter the worst impacts of climate change requires a full phase-out of fossil fuels immediately, and we call on our climate champions in the Senate to uphold their promise to stand with our communities, oppose this terrible bill, and fight for real climate solutions that protect and invest in communities."

"The impacts of climate change are indisputable, and the perpetuation of toxic, chemical harms from oil and gas companies at the expense of people and the environment, as shown in the repeals and loopholes of this dangerous energy package, cannot be allowed passage," said Oscar Villalobos, Coalition Coordinator at the Green New Deal for DC Coalition. "Although House leadership deliberately places profits over people and disregards the gravity of the climate crisis, our members and allies stand unified in calling for the rejection of this wrong-headed legislation and champions a renewed commitment to the American people from our government by halting bailouts and political expediencies for the fossil fuel industry, and strengthening equitable climate justice for our future."

"H.R. 1 is a big step in the wrong direction. Republicans are putting the interests of Big Oil above communities, stripping protections against pollution in the Clean Water Act and cutting over $20 billion from last year's landmark climate bill, the Inflation Reduction Act," said Sophia Cheng, Climate Justice Campaign Director at People's Action. "In 2022, Chevron alone raked in $6.3 million per hour and the five largest Big Oil corporations made a record $200 billion in profits. H.R. 1 paves the way for bigger profits for Big Oil at the expense of our land, water, and health. Senate Majority Leader Schumer must hold firm to defeat this bill and President Biden must follow through on his commitment to veto any version of this dangerous policy."

The Green New Deal Network is a 50-state campaign with a national table of 15 organizations: Center for Popular Democracy, Climate Justice Alliance, Grassroots Global Justice Alliance, Greenpeace, Indigenous Environmental Network, Indivisible, Movement for Black Lives, MoveOn, People's Action, Right To The City Alliance, Service Employees International Union, Sierra Club, Sunrise Movement, US Climate Action Network, and the Working Families Party.