CMR's Response to Ukraine Crisis?
Drill, Baby, Drill!
How did “our” Rep. McMorris Rodgers respond to the threat of a Russian invasion of Ukraine?
“‘Tantamount to an invasion’: Northwest lawmakers denounce Russian incursion into Ukraine as tensions rise” by Orion Donovan-Smith appeared at Spokesman.com on Tuesday, February 22. In Mr. Donovan-Smith’s article, Senator James Risch (R-ID) and Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) are cited for working on a bi-partisan bill to impose additional sanctions on Russia. Amid quotes from other lawmakers condemning Russia’s move toward war, “our” congressperson’s, McMorris Rodgers’, response stood out as inane, tone-deaf, and, well, predictable:
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane, the top Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement Tuesday she would introduce a bill that would require the president to develop an “energy security plan” to ramp up U.S. oil production to counter Russia, whose economy depends heavily on oil and gas exports.
“Especially given Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, America must flip the switch and aggressively promote our energy jobs, production and exports,” she said, accusing Biden of a “radical agenda to shut down American energy and embolden our enemies like Russia.”
“Especially”?? In other words, the GOP minority on this committee has thought all along that, although we are a net exporter of fossil fuels, the federal government should do all it can to subsidize the fossil fuel industry and encourage more extraction. Climate change and renewable energy be damned. A Russian invasion of the Ukraine? Just the opportunity they were looking for to further the agenda of the GOP’s corporate sponsors. And while they’re at it, they cannot resist taking a swipe at President Biden, even as they studiously ignore CMR’s “positive disruptor”’s, i.e. D. Trump’s, words of praise for Putin’s impending invasion.
McMorris Rodgers apparently thought that pandering to the GOP’s corporate sponsors and climate denialists was so urgent she needed to advertise her useless bill before it even had a number:
H.R. ____, The American Energy Independence from Russia Act — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Requires the President to provide Congress with an energy security plan that evaluates U.S. oil imports and exports, assesses our energy security risks based upon oil imports, and encourages domestic oil production in order to offset Russian imports.
This is not the work of a serious legislator. In her committee statement (from which the above quote was taken), McMorris Rodgers adds her proposal to a list of bills already in the hopper. None of them has a chance of passage in the current U.S. House; they exist only to declare the GOP’s sell out to the fossil fuel industry. The bills signal to the Dominionist wing of the Republican Party the committee’s complete denial of the threat of climate change and environmental degradation. (CMR’s anemic response to any question about climate change has always been, “Save the Snake River dams!” Her committee statement rips off this thin veil that covered her climate denial.)
Finally, McMorris Rodgers, with her statement, falsely accuses the Biden administration of ignoring the real world energy consequences of an impending war. That is pure out-of-touch nonsense. Unlike the Trump administration, the Biden administration is actively involved internationally in trying to stabilize the energy markets, especially in the short term. And what benefit does McMorris Rodgers’ new, unnumbered bill demanding an “energy security plan" of the Biden administration add to that effort? Precisely nothing.
I am ashamed of the woman who pretends to represent me in Congress.
Keep to the high ground,
P.S. The evening of the day after this post was written the Russian assault on Ukraine began. The next morning, Thursday, February 24, McMorris Rodgers once again harped on ramping up the U.S. fossil fuel industry. Since then the directive must have come out to Republican pundits and legislators: the invasion of Ukraine is an opportunity to pretend that President Biden is personally to blame for any rise in the price of gasoline (while ignoring both the effects of demand as the economy heats up after Covid and the rise in price due to uncertainty).
P.P.S. No one seems to notice the irony in this Republican call for the government to ramp up the domestic fossil fuel industry as an example of government interference in the “free market”—something that is supposed to be anathema for Republicans.