Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Eastern Washington took the gavel for the first time as chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on Tuesday. She held a roundtable discussion on what changes must be made to the nation’s energy strategy in order to reduce high gasoline and food prices.
“Like all of you, I’m very excited to hit the ground running this morning – we have an opportunity to address what American families are facing,” said McMorris Rodgers to open the first committee meeting of the 118th Congress.
Since 2011, she has sat on the committee, and since 2004, she has held federal position.
At a conference table in the U.S. Capitol, Republican committee members listened to a panel of invited visitors. Dan Alsaker, president of Alsaker Corporation, Donna Jackson, director of membership development for Project 21, David Hickman, co-owner and operator of Dublin Farms, Inc., and Jeff Eshelman, president and chief executive officer of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, testified about the effects of the “Biden administration’s war on fossil fuel.”
The committee is the oldest permanent legislative committee in the House, having been established in 1795. The group has the widest power of any legislative authorizing committee and is tasked with determining energy, technology, trade, and health care policies.
“Energy is the tie that binds everything together,” said McMorris Rodgers of the committee’s importance. “It’s critical to our economy and everything we do.”
Alsaker was the initial speaker. His Spokane Valley, Washington-based firm has managed a network of truck stops in the Pacific Northwest for more than 50 years. Alsaker generates around $53.6 million annually in sales and employs over 300 individuals despite the present labor crisis.
“I’ve been around and I’ve been through a lot of the trials and tribulations of the industry, he said.
Alsaker informed the committee that on top of record inflation and high gasoline costs, the state of Washington has implemented a tax on carbon-emitting firms that adds nearly 30 cents per gallon to the price at the pump.
Other guests concurred with him that the Democratic emphasis on climate change was particularly detrimental to low- and middle-income households.
Jackson, who directs the oldest and largest black conservative think group in the United States, stated that minorities were affected considerably harder by these policies.
“However tough high energy costs are on the middle class, they are even worse on the people trying to get there,” she said.
Jackson stated, among other issues, that the typical Black American household income varied between $20,000 and $40,000, depending on where they resided. She stated that these people could not afford to acquire an electric car, as advocated by the Biden administration and Democratic governors, due to inflation and high gasoline prices.
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“Environmental justice is not justice because it’s creating poverty,” she said. “Climate change policy creates a permanent underclass to be controlled by the government.”
Project 21 was founded in 1992 to research and provide commentary on public policy issues from an African American perspective. CONTINUE READING…