In the News
ICYMI: E&E News Highlights Importance of HEAT During Pandemic
Washington, May 20, 2020
In an article published today, E&E News highlighted the role the House Energy Action Team (HEAT) has played in shaping energy policy during the COVID-19 pandemic. Congressman Markwayne Mullin (OK-02) is a co-chair of HEAT, along with Republican Whip Steve Scalise (LA-01) and Congressman Jeff Duncan (SC-03).
George Cahlink, E&E News reporter
When House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) revived the House energy task force last year, it was largely to counter the Democrats' Green New Deal.
But amid the pandemic and oil price war, the House Energy Action Team is taking on an expanded and potentially more influential role — a leading Capitol Hill voice for energy industry relief.
Long allied with the fossil fuel industry and out of power for the first time in a decade, House Republicans are now using HEAT as a vehicle to shape energy policy during the crisis.
Understanding the group's priorities, recent activities and makeup offers a window into the policies that may emerge, as House Republicans' pro-energy views are often in line with those of the White House.
The members are also acting as conduits between constituents and federal officials often not within their reach.
Local energy companies "can talk to us but would not have the ability to talk to Secretary Brouillette, and Brouillette may not yet have the ability to actually know what storage farms are still available out there that are not being utilized. We were able to connect a lot of those dots, and it's been beneficial," said Mullin.
Duncan and Mullin said they have pitched more novel ideas for addressing the energy crisis that have come from the industry.
Duncan noted that he has talked with Bernhardt about the possibility of pumping oil back into shallow offshore wells for temporary storage, while Mullin said he mentioned an energy executive's plan for restructuring OPEC to Brouillette that has sparked several follow-up conversations.
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