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Rep. Bob Latta Discusses Energy Affordability and Innovation

From the rapid growth of the Conservative Climate Caucus to the passage of key legislation, conservatives in the 118th Congress are leading in the areas of climate, energy, and the environment. One of the more noteworthy leaders in the past two years has been Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), who serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee and chairs the Committee’s Communications and Technology Subcommittee. Rep. Latta recently joined Right Voices to discuss conservative energy policy and his vision for the rest of the 118th Congress. 

Reliable, affordable energy is important to the entire country, and especially Rep. Latta’s district. Ohio’s 5th district is large and economically diverse and includes both the largest farm income-producing and largest manufacturing district in the state. “The one thing that I tell everyone, and this is why it’s so important [to be] on the Energy and Commerce Committee, is that I don’t have to have energy in my district, I have to have affordable energy,” said Rep Latta. He then emphasized, “If you don’t have affordable energy, all these people that are out there in manufacturing, aren’t going to have a job.”

>>>READ: Jeff Duncan Outlines Policies to Unleash American Nuclear Power

One issue that Rep. Latta prioritizes is the acceleration of the deployment of clean, baseload nuclear power in the U.S. Earlier this year his Nuclear Fuel Security Act (NFSA) was included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NFSA looked to address America’s overreliance on Russian uranium and uranium enrichment by establishing programs to increase domestic production of the fuel source. Recently President Biden signed into law the Prohibiting Russian Uranium Imports Act, which was co-sponsored by Latta. The law freed up $2.7 billion to fund programs in the NFSA. 

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The support for nuclear power stems from Rep. Latta’s interest in shoring up the grid, supporting economic growth, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. On the latter point, Rep. Latta has also joined the Conservative Climate Caucus to promote pragmatic solutions to address global climate change. 

On joining the caucus, Latta said, “There is climate change, you know. I think it’d be very difficult for people to go out there and say, ‘we don’t have it.’ Our climate is constantly changing. Coming from Northwest Ohio, if I took you back 60 years, what the weather looked like then and where it is today, it’s totally different.” 

However, he believes that economic growth and environmental prosperity can coexist, pointing to the United States’ remarkable success in reducing emissions between 2005 and 2020 – greater than any other nation in the world. “We’ve been able to do things in this country because of our technology and been able to get things done and still be able to compete,” he said.

>>>READ: Rep. Miller-Meeks Outlines Her Priorities for the Conservative Climate Caucus

As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Latta has also been very involved in the EV debate on Capitol Hill. While he is not anti-EV, he firmly opposes government mandates that could stifle innovation and consumer choice. “If you want to drive an internal combustion engine, good for you, if you want to drive an EV, good for you. But the one thing I’m not going to be on the side of is saying that the federal government’s going to make that choice for you,” he stated.

He continued, “If the federal government picks the winners and losers, we’re gonna lose because the federal government is terrible at it.”

By pursuing an “all of the above” energy strategy and pushing back against restrictive and burdensome regulations, Rep. Latta is promoting solutions to lower costs for consumers, accelerate innovation, and lower emissions.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of C3.

Copyright © 2020 Conservative Coalition for Climate Solutions

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