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The president recently signed into law the long-awaited infrastructure bill. However, according to Congressman Bill Johnson, the $1.2 trillion bill had “very little” to do with actual infrastructure.

“Less than 21% of that bill had anything to do with what we would call traditional infrastructure. ... Had it addressed real infrastructure—roads, bridges, water systems, sewer systems, airports, those kinds of things—I would’ve been one of the first ones to support it,” Johnson told Cornerstone’s Jack Belcher on the latest installment of Energy Policy Watch. “But that’s not what it did.”

U.S. Rep. Johnson (R-Ohio, 6th), whose district encompasses a large part of the Marcellus and Utica shale play within the Appalachian Basin, said the biggest problem he has with the infrastructure bill is he sees it paving the way for the spending bill, which he described as “a massive social reengineering bill.”

“That’s the damaging part of all of this because that bill is an all-out assault on fossil fuels,” he said.

The House passed the roughly $2 trillion bill before Thanksgiving break, but still faces an uncertain future in the Senate, where Democrats are hoping to pass it by the end of the year using reconciliation, a budget process that would let them bypass a GOP filibuster.

“Everything from the methane tax, the clean electricity performance tax, which will make it nearly financially impossible to generate electricity with natural gas,” Johnson continued. “And why would they do that?”

Natural gas produced in the U.S. is the cleanest natural gas on the planet, Johnson noted during the interview.

“America has been responsible for lowering carbon emissions more than any other nation on the planet,” he said. “It’s staggering to me that those that are concerned about climate and climate change refuse to recognize that.”

“America has done its part,” he added. “And we continue to do our part.”

Jump to a topic:

  • Johnson’s background (1:20)
  • Infrastructure and spending bills (4:40)
  • Natural gas and climate change (8:15)
  • Biden versus pipelines (10:30)
  • Fighting back (15:15)
  • How to approach energy discussions (19:40)
  • Calls for OPEC, others to boost production (23:50)
  • Addressing emissions (27:30)

Energy Policy Watch is a partnership between Hart Energy and Cornerstone to bring regular video updates on legislative and regulatory actions affecting the energy industry. Guests range from key representatives or congressional staff to relevant cabinet-level officials and executive branch personnel. View More Energy Policy Watch Episodes Here.