tv Washington Journal Rep. John Curtis CSPAN January 31, 2023 1:19pm-1:31pm EST
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continues. host: joining us from the cannon house office building is utah republican congressman john curtis, a member of the energy and commerce committee and chair of the climate caucus. what are your priorities for the 118th congress when it comes to energy and climate legislation? >> we don't need to sacrifice energy independence and we don't need to sacrifice affordable prices and we can reduce emissions. we think we have a formula to do that. host: what is that special formula to make that happen? guest: it's not that complicated. we need every available energy source we have with an emphasis on affordability, reliability and clean and we need to let the marketplace drive those three factors and i am confident the marketplace will take us in a good direction. host: what happens when clean is not always affordable or if the
other priorities gets in the way of another one? guest: you can see what happens when you get those three priorities out of alignment. not only did they sacrifice energy dependence, affordability and reliability but they are not clean. they are putting on more greenhouse gas emissions than ever and we want to make sure the u.s. does not going that direction. host: the conservative climate caucus started and you are the chair so why did you start it? guest: one of the largest republican conferences in washington is republicans talking about climate. our point is to get republicans and gays. we feel republicans for too long have told everybody what we don't like and it's important for us to articulate what we do like. there are very strong conservative principles that are affordable, reliable and clean. host: it might surprise people. guest: historically, republicans have not engaged in the climate conversation.
part of that is because they are turned off by the extremism and i think that's been a mistake. host: how do you get republicans to engage now and how do you get democrats to engage with you on these issues? guest: on the second part of your question, i am pleased with my democratic colleagues many of whom have embraced what we are doing and reached out to us and want to work with us and i found a warm reception with my democratic colleagues.as far as getting more republicans engaged, it is helping them understand that they don't need to check their conservative credentials at the door to engage. most of them realize they are anxious to engage. and be part of the conversation host: do you foresee a day when this country no longer needs fossil fuels? how far away is that day? guest: that's an interesting thing. i don't know a single energy expert anywhere in the world doesn't tell you that fossil
fuels will be with us for a very long time. in this debate, people have to decide if you hate fossil fuels or hate emissions. there's a strong role for fossil fuels to reduce emissions and there's no better example than what's happened in the united states. we have reduced dramatic commissions using natural gas which is cleaner than russia. the goal is to reduce emissions, there is a role and fossil fuels can be part of the solution and not the only problem. host: is the role for coal-fired power plants? guest: to get to our energy future, i don't think there's is a single energy source that we won't be using. can we do it affordably, reliably and clean? there is great technology out there like carbon sequestration and other technologies that likely will play a role. host: congressman john curtis is with us this morning for another 20 or 25 minutes. you can join the conversation,
the phone lines are open. john curtis is a member of the energy and commerce committee in the one who 18th congress on a vice chair -- in the 118th congress. what is grid security and why are three things grouped together? guest:guest: as far as climate energy, you cannot separate climate from energy. the two are connected and that's where that's included. everybody will tell you that if we don't have a secure and reliable read, none of this matters on the energy side and the climate side. we got to have a grid that's for more resilient, far more efficient than what we currently have. host: when it comes to the grid,
what is keeping us from being efficient and reliable? guest: it's the same thing that's holding us back on every climate goal and that's the topic in congress this year with republicans and democrats. i don't care what your energy goal is, committee reform is in the way of it and unless we can work that out, we will struggle on the energy and climate side. host: if you're trying to understand the permitting process, how long does it generally take and how many agencies are involved in an energy permitting process? guest: there are many layers and it depends on what you're trying to do. in my district, we have about 90% federal land. just to permit on federal land in an existing right-of-way roadway could take up to nine years. that has also many layers of complications when the permit is issued and challenges. people will tell you that it
takes too long to get an answer and was the answer comes the, there is no certainty because of a process that goes on for many years. tightening that up and not come prop -- compromising environmental standards in getting an answer to her and making that answer more sure is one of the most important things we can do with committee reform. host: talking with congressman john curtis and asking for your lessons on phone or text or email. bobby is up first out of west virginia, the line for democrats. go ahead. caller: yes, congressman. i am a former retired coalminer in west virginia. there was one of the worst massacres in mind history.
we powered this nation through several wars and it hadn't been for west virginia coal, we wouldn't be able to make progress. in world war ii, the men manned the factories and the men fought the war and mined the coal we needed. we know coal is one of the dirtiest fossil fuels that there is it's quite expansive. hillary clinton was running and there was $11 billion to be sent to these coal operators at these power plants. it was to upgrade them and clean them but we've got future generations and i don't think coal can be a because that first package that the biden
administration did when they first went in there had to do with the reconstruction of the highways and bridges. you needmet coal because they haven't done it with any other source of energy because at higher btu and it makes steel. it still necessary to have coal but i don't hear the guys up there talking about -- if you are in the energy business maybe you have a good answer. host: let's let the congressman jump in. guest: first of all, i represent a county utah called carbon county. it's probably much like west virginia and what they do and how they make their livelihood what i regret the most is the demonization not system coal but of the people who for decades and decades have sacrificed their health and safety.
so that we can fight wars and build cars and have our homes at 70 degrees. i regret so much of this conversation demonizes these people. i think the future for coal lies in its ability to do three things -- be affordable, reliable and clean. i think all fuel sources need to take a hard look at that like with carbon sequestration and other techniques, it's possible coal will compete in our future world. can they maintain it at an affordable price and keep the affordability and i think they can i think our future will show those three factors dictate who is our dominant power source. host: what is the history of carbon county? guest: it is for there is a coal plant in the adjoining county.
these are good people, i have watched firsthand how we destroyed their economy, destroyed their way of life. it does not need to be that way, it is unfortunate. host: before becoming the mayor -- guest: it is about an hour and a half away. as the mayor, we were a municipal power city. when i first took over, we were close to 80% coal. we had a little bit of hydro. so i have watched this closely. host: now in his fourth term in congress, representative of utah's third district, taking your phone calls. this is tom in oregon, a republican. good morning. caller: yes. mr. curtis, i was wanting to ask , do you
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