Don't bite the hand that keeps the lights on - TEA



Don’t bite the hand that keeps the lights on

May 31st, 2024

The issue: American ingenuity is a wonderful thing — and it’s alive and well at a Texas pilot facility involving carbon capture. Encouraging the domestic energy industry to seek innovative solutions to carbon emissions, rather than punishing them for past transgressions, should be everyone’s goal.

Why it Matters: NET Power is working to commercialize its patented technology to produce power from natural gas in a completely redesigned power plant that captures 97% of carbon dioxide emissions and, critically, produces no nitrous oxide or sulfur oxide pollutants. That’s a potential game-changer.
CEO Danny Rice and his brother, Toby, have been in the natural gas world for a long time. Toby is CEO of EQT, one of the largest natural gas producers in the country.

Rice echoes what TEA has been saying for the past five years: “We need clean, affordable, reliable power.”


  • It’s still early in the game, meaning the plant has not yet provided more electricity to the grid than it uses to power its various component parts, like pumps and compressors.
  • This is because it is demonstrating the technology and not (yet) in a full-sized commercial plant.
  • Only one power plant in the U.S. is using carbon capture right now, the Petra Nova power plant, also in Texas, according to the Global CCS Institute, an industry trade group.

Meanwhile, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has introduced a bill to scrap the ‘natural gas tax’ wedged inside Biden’s climate legislation. Combining American innovation with fewer regulations will always be the preferred pathway.

  • The “Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act” would scrap IRA provisions that deputize the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to impose fines on energy companies that emit methane in amounts above government-dictated limits, according to its text.
  • The rule will likely have a significant impact on producers of natural gas, as it tries to reduce methane emissions.
  • House Republicans passed a similar bill in March, authored by Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), to repeal the IRA’s natural gas tax.

“President Biden’s tax on natural gas production does nothing but make it harder to produce American-made energy, while driving up costs. Congress must take action to repeal this looming regulatory disaster,” Rep. Pfluger said.

Bottom Line: Natural gas is a friend to the clean energy transition, not a foe. Accounting for over 60% of CO2 reduction, natural gas is leading the way to a clean, affordable, reliable energy future. So why tax it?

The issue: President Biden continues to appoint anti-energy activists who push counterproductive policies that make extracting energy harder and more expensive. Judy Chang, one of the president’s latest nominees to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, a federal agency in charge of approving energy projects for all 50 states, is the latest example.

Why it Matters:

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission is an independent agency of the United States government that regulates the interstate transmission and wholesale sale of electricity and natural gas, and regulates the prices of interstate transport of petroleum by pipeline.

Biden plans to pick Democrats David Rosner and Chang and Republican Lindsay See as FERC nominees. The move could soon bring the panel back to five members as the agency is weighing major electricity rules and is set to play an important role in determining the fate of many liquefied natural gas projects.

Thus, vetting these nominees is critical to avoid something akin to the appointment of activist judges in our federal courts.

  • FERC also approves the siting and construction of liquefied natural gas import and export facilities that are on and near the shore.
  • Under a division of labor, the Department of Energy reviews applications for exports of the commodity while FERC reviews applications to build or expand liquefication facilities.
  • This includes consideration of siting, safety and environmental criteria.


Chang, while in leadership in Massachusetts, admitted she admired Germany’s Green New Deal-style energy transition, which has been infamous for creating energy shortages throughout the country. Putting this ideology before efficiency and energy security is irresponsible.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said a “fully-seated, bipartisan” commission offers “more opportunity for advancing long-lasting, sensible energy infrastructure policy.”

See, West Virginia’s current solicitor general, would likely provide needed balance to the two liberal selections and assure that critical fossil-fuel projects do not get put on the back burner or scuttled altogether.

Bottom Line: Political appointees at FERC or any agency must be vetted carefully to ensure responsible, level-headed decision making takes precedence over green-at-any-cost ideologies.

After a brief spike over Memorial Day Weekend, gas prices are back down across the country. As of today, the national average for a gallon of gasoline is $3.56, 4 cents cheaper than it was a week ago. 45 out of 50 states have gas prices that are currently lower than they were a month ago, and more declines may be on the horizon!

Hearing On Powering AI: On Tuesday, June 4, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy, Climate and Grid Security will have a hearing on “Powering AI: Examining America’s Energy and Technology Future.”

Hearing On FERC Nominations: On Tuesday, June 4, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will have a hearing to consider nominations to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Hearing On EPA Oversight: On Wednesday, June 5, the House Oversight and Accountability Committee will have a hearing on oversight of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

“Over the past three decades, China has built such a dominant role in the production of EVs — and the supply chains needed to manufacture them — that the U.S. cannot, will not, be able to catch up, not for decades to come.”

— Energy expert Robert Bryce on Substack.