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GOP takes aim at Biden’s climate agenda


The rebellion against President Joe Biden’s energy and climate agenda has begun in a House emboldened by its new conservative majority.

GOP lawmakers rebuked Biden’s use of oil reserves, pilloried his climate envoy John Kerry as an unaccountable diplomat and erased the term “environmental justice” from congressional documents.

Republicans in the House and Senate also introduced resolutions to nix a Labor Department rule that permits asset managers to consider social and environmental factors in making retirement investments for workers, write POLITICO’s E&E News reporters Emma Dumain and Hannah Northey. Conservative critics say the practice amounts to “woke capitalism” designed to drive dollars away from fossil fuels.

Investors and companies have also jumped into the fray. The Securities and Exchange Commission is considering softening a planned rule that would require companies to disclose their climate risks, after the plan got industry pushback, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Dialing back that rule has also been a rallying cry for GOP critics, including Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, now chair of the House Financial Services Committee.

Odds of success: Because Republicans introduced the resolutions through the Congressional Review Act, which allows lawmakers to overturn recent rules with a simple majority, they have a fair shot at getting their Labor Department proposal to Biden’s desk — though he would be certain to veto it.

The 1996 law (which Congress used only once before the statute enjoyed a renaissance under the Trump administration) requires Senate Democrats to schedule votes on proposed resolutions. No death by floor inaction.

With a slim Democratic majority in the Senate, Republicans would need to peel off just two lawmakers to secure passage. (Joe Manchin, anyone?) A win in the House is more of a given.

Less likely to advance is a provision that a major caucus of Republicans included in its debt limit demands. This one would implement “common-sense guardrails” for future regulations, such as a law that would require Congress to vote up or down on major rules before they take effect.