Conservative Group Testifies to Congress: Empower the Free Market, Invest in R&D to Fight Climate Change

"The Energy Act of 2020 is proof that bipartisan clean energy and climate solutions are possible. My hope is that Congress can pass bipartisan infrastructure legislation to put transportation sector emissions on the right trajectory." -Charles Hernick, Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions

March 17, 2021 12:00 PM EDT

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WASHINGTON, March 17, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Charles Hernick, vice president of policy and advocacy for Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES), testified today before the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that harnessing the free market, investing strategically in research and development (R&D) and reducing or eliminating regulatory barriers will increase America's competitive edge and improve the climate.

During the hearing, "The Business Case for Climate Solutions," Hernick expressed that many companies, states, and municipalities have been hard at work for decades tackling climate challenges. He urged Congress not to "reinvent the wheel," rather to build on existing best business practices for climate solutions and policies that support those initiatives.

"Congress should harness the power of free markets—by encouraging transparency and accountability— and empower companies to achieve their self-set goals, not pursue heavy-handed, top-down mandates that drive up costs or reduce options," Hernick said. He added, the U.S. should "make strategic investments in R&D and infrastructure that serves an all-of-the-above approach including fuel efficiency, new clean fuels like hydrogen, and electrification—i.e., electric vehicles."

In his testimony, Hernick commended Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) for his leadership to uphold state decision-making and reject new federal mandates.

"I want to thank Mr. Hernick for testifying today and providing the Committee with valuable insights about market-driven innovations in emissions reductions and climate solutions," said Ranking Member Graves. "The way we will continue to lead the world in becoming greener and more resilient is not through unachievable, one-size-fits-all policies, but through encouraging the ingenuity, adaptability, and responsibility of American businesses."

Hernick also discussed the need for reforms like the One Federal Decision Act, introduced by U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL), seeking to consolidate permitting decisions for major infrastructure projects into a single environmental review process that must be completed in two years, overseen by a single federal agency of jurisdiction.

"A single permitting timetable and timely environmental reviews and authorization decisions must be a first-order priority, specifically codifying One Federal Decision," Hernick said, noting that recent CRES polling revealed that 73 percent of American voters support streamlining and reforming government regulations that hamper the transition to clean energy.

"The Energy Act of 2020 is proof that bipartisan clean energy and climate solutions are possible," Hernick concluded. "My hope is that Congress can pass bipartisan infrastructure legislation to put transportation sector emissions on the right trajectory."

Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions (CRES) engages Republican policymakers and the public about responsible, conservative solutions to address our nation's energy, economic, and environmental security while increasing America's competitive edge. For more information, visit www.citizensfor.com

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SOURCE Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions



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