May 21, 2024

Cassidy Highlights the Need for Permitting Reform, Lower Energy Costs to Compete with China

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) highlighted the need for continued fossil fuel production to lower energy costs, support U.S. competitiveness, and bolster baseload electricity availability at a U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing today. Cassidy questioned leaders in the U.S. energy space on the role of fossil fuels and the inadequacy of renewable energy to support U.S. electricity demand. He also stressed the need to support American energy production to remain competitive with China.

“[W]hen we speak about higher energy costs—and they’ve risen significantly during this administration—part of that is the, kind of, unrealized productivity of sunk assets,” said Dr. Cassidy referring to a closed-down American Electric Power Company plant in Shreveport, Louisiana.

“That is regressive. Poorer people pay a greater percent of their income for this unrealized potential,” continued Dr. Cassidy.

Cassidy emphasized the need for permitting reform, highlighting his REPAIR Act, a juridical reform bill to streamline the permitting process for U.S. energy, manufacturing, and critical infrastructure projects. Cassidy recently discussed his permitting reform efforts op-ed in the Washington Times as well.

“Lawsuit after lawsuit can effectively tie up something and effectively kill a project,” said Dr. Cassidy. “I’d like to say that folks on the other side of the dais want powerlines, and the folks on this side want pipelines, but we really want both because we know that both are essential.”

Cassidy later highlighted China’s extensive use of coal plants to fuel their manufacturing, undercutting U.S. manufacturers who must comply with stringent environmental standards.

“Sixty percent of Chinese power is generated by coal. They typically don’t turn on their scrubbers because it decreases the efficiency. Often times, they are built on the Pacific coast which means the trade winds blow them over to the United States. To the degree that our energy policy increases the cost of energy and therefore encourages someone to move to China, we are actually worsening global greenhouse gas emissions. Because we’re increasing consumption of Chinese coal-fired electricity as opposed to clean-burning U.S. electricity,” concluded Dr. Cassidy. 


Cassidy has repeatedly sounded the alarm on China’s lack of pollution standards undercutting U.S. manufacturing. Last year, he introduced his Foreign Pollution Fee Act to level the playing field with Chinese manufacturing and expand American production.

Cassidy penned editorials in Foreign Affairs and The Washington Times discussing the geopolitical threats China poses to U.S. global standing. Cassidy stressed the need for a U.S. foreign policy towards China that meets at the nexus of national security, energy security, economic policy, and climate policy.

Last Congress, Cassidy released a landmark energy & climate policy outline in response to the Biden administration’s assault on domestic energy. The outline details how we can successfully reset U.S. energy policy, including Cassidy’s plan for an Energy Operation Warp Speed to cut permitting red tape and unleash domestic energy and manufacturing. In support of this complete vision and in addition to the Foreign Pollution Fee, Cassidy led Republican colleagues in opposition to a domestic carbon tax, and introduced the first comprehensive judicial reform for permitting bill. He also pushed back on disastrous proposals from the Biden administration to limit development in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) with the introduction of the WHALE Act and the Offshore Energy Security Act of 2023.