EEI chief vows to defend climate law from Republican attacks

By Jason Plautz | 02/21/2024 06:25 AM EST

Dan Brouillette, who led the Trump DOE, predicted a Republican administration wouldn’t rescind a law so important to the utility industry.

Dan Brouillette testifies.

Dan Brouillette testifies during a hearing in Washington in 2020. The former Energy secretary is CEO of the Edison Electric Institute. Michael A. McCoy/Getty Images

The head of the Edison Electric Institute said Tuesday that the utility trade group would defend President Joe Biden’s signature climate law from Republican attacks even if Donald Trump retakes the White House.

During a presentation on Wall Street, EEI CEO Dan Brouillette — who served as Trump’s Energy secretary — said the Inflation Reduction Act has been a boon to the utility industry, helping accelerate the build-out of clean energy infrastructure. The IRA and the bipartisan infrastructure law passed early in Biden’s term have been “important programs both for the industry and economic development around the country,” he said.

Trump has attacked the IRA, which included $369 billion in clean energy and climate spending, as part of a “Green New Deal” agenda. The Republican majority in the House has also tried to weaken the law, voting last year to zero out its clean energy tax credits as part of a debt ceiling bill (the attempt did not make it through the Democrat-controlled Senate).
last year


But on Tuesday, Brouillette said he didn’t expect Republicans to roll back the law if they take control of both chambers of Congress and the White House in the November elections. Any changes, he said, “would be largely at the margins, not at the heart of what was passed as the IRA.”