Territories tell GOP they want more money for renewables

By Andres Picon | 04/12/2024 06:28 AM EDT

At a House hearing, one witness told lawmakers that energy “diversification is critical.”

Del. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan (D-Northern Mariana Islands).

Del. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan of the Northern Mariana Islands during a hearing Thursday on U.S. territories and their energy needs. House Natural Resources Committee/YouTube

Democrats on a House Natural Resources subcommittee and witnesses from United States island territories butted heads with the panel’s Republicans in a debate about the islands’ energy woes.

Republicans on the Subcommittee on Indian and Insular Affairs used a hearing Thursday to criticize the Biden administration’s efforts to help move Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa and the Northern Mariana Islands toward renewables as the islands struggle with expensive and often unreliable energy resources.

“It is not Washington, D.C.’s job to pick winners and losers” between fossil fuels and renewables, said subcommittee Chair Harriet Hageman (R-Wyo.). “The insular areas deserve self-determination of federal policies that do not promote energy poverty.”


Witnesses from the islands involved in planning energy infrastructure and assessing energy needs pushed back, telling lawmakers that they want additional funding from the administration to help them diversify their energy portfolios beyond the fossil fuels they currently rely on.