Over the past eighteen months, the House Energy and Commerce Committee has been conducting in depth reviews and oversight of the Department of Energy (DOE), and more specifically on how and where DOE economic stimulus dollars have been spent. Through this investigative process, the Committee uncovered the "Solyndra swindle', "Fisker fiasco' and other energy projects funded with billions in taxpayer dollars, yet never translated into real energy production or sustainable jobs.
In an ongoing effort to calculate the true cost of taxpayer subsidies in the energy market and focus on a real energy independence plan, Congressman Murphy joined his colleagues on the Committee requesting an official audit from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) of all federal spending, grants, loans, and subsidies for wind, solar, coal, natural gas, nuclear, and oil.
Through this audit, the GAO will also examine how foreign governments like China are subsidizing new energy technologies. This provision was included at the request of Rep. Murphy, who has said the information is critical in determining whether American businesses are competing fairly in the global marketplace noting that countries like China heavily invest in the energy sector and manipulate global energy prices. Towards that end, the Commerce Department announced on Wednesday it would move forward with tariffs against Chinese-made solar panels because the products are heavily subsidized by Beijing. To learn more about why this audit is an essential step in crafting an energy independence plan, read this article in The Hill.
Murphy has also been working on other policies focused on lower energy prices and job creation for Southwestern Pennsylvania families by backing the expansion of clean coal and natural gas exploration. Most recently, Murphy fought to end the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) "War On Coal' by voting in favor of legislation (H.R. 3409) to stop new EPA regulations from shutting down coal mines. Coal provides between 35 and 50% of the nation's electricity. Responsible for over 52,000 Pennsylvania jobs, Murphy said he'd keep working on policies that ensure the coal industry survives and is able to provide affordable electricity to heavy manufacturers and residences.