Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-9797
David Lungren David_Lungren@epw.senate.gov (202) 224-5642
INHOFE RELEASES NEW SENATE REPORT:
The Real Story Behind China's Energy Policy - And What America Can Learn From It
China Consuming, Buying Fossil Fuels on Grand Scale; Its Green Power is a ‘Sideshow'
The report shows that, regardless of its wind and solar production, China is predominantly relying on coal, oil, and natural gas, along with hydro and nuclear power, to fuel its economy. Non-hydro renewables, despite considerable government support, make up less than 1 percent of China's energy portfolio - a fact that won't change for at least the next two decades.
When it comes to clean energy, China dominates production of rare earth minerals, which are necessary to produce wind turbines, solar panels, advanced batteries, energy efficient lighting, and many other energy technologies. As the report explains, China produces about 97 percent of the world's supply, while the U.S. produces none. China's dominance in this regard provides enormous economic leverage over the U.S.-and leaves our country dangerously dependent on China's resources.
The report also debunks the unfounded assertion that a "price on carbon" and government mandates are essential for the U.S. to produce innovative energy technology. In fact, such policies would be ruinous to jobs, the development of newer, cleaner energy technology, and the global competitiveness of America's manufacturers.
America has an array of clean energy technologies that are readily deployable, the report finds. Their development can create thousands of jobs, provide affordable, reliable energy, and keep America's manufacturers globally competitive, especially with China. But activists groups oppose, and in some cases have successfully delayed or stopped, nearly all of them.
"America can't be lulled into thinking that China is launching a green energy revolution," Sen. Inhofe said. "The reality, which policymakers here must understand, is that it's much bigger than that: China is launching a global energy revolution, the basic makeup of which entails consuming coal on grand scales, and purchasing vast quantities of oil, gas, and uranium the world over, including from dangerous, anti-American regimes. Surely, China recognizes that wind and solar power contribute to energy security, and undoubtedly they do, but when considered against the backdrop of China's fossil fuel use, they are, as in the United States, a sideshow.
"This report hopefully will serve as a wake-up call, which is effectively this: we can't sit back and let our abundant resources sit idly in the ground, while China rapidly develops its own, and those of other countries, and grows apace. Coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear, hydropower, as well as solar, wind, geothermal - let's develop them all, and let's innovate and deploy, of course where it makes sense and in a manner that's good for consumers and the economy. With communist China on the rise, we can't afford any other course."
The Senate report released today is the latest in a series of oversight reports this year by the minority staff of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. To read the previous reports, visit www.epw.senate.gov/inhofe.