Last month, Senator Cynthia Lummis voted to support the Providing Reliable, Objective, Verifiable Emissions Intensity and Transparency (PROVE IT) Act despite heavy lobbying from groups that oppose President Donald Trump’s America First trade agenda.
Wall Street interests have weaved a complex set of lies around PROVE IT to protect unfettered trade with the Communist Chinese Party, which uses its poor environmental and human rights abuses to create an unfair advantage against American workers.
Rather than be honest about their intent to safeguard their cozy relationship with China, which they know is a political loser, opponents of Lummis’s vote have claimed that the bill would somehow tax American energy, which is blatantly false.
Lummis, who vehemently opposes such a tax, rightly saw through this deception.
PROVE IT would produce the data that we need to defend U.S. economic security by demonstrating to others – at home and abroad – the global environmental benefits of increasing U.S. domestic manufacturing and extraction of its own resources, as opposed to offshoring American jobs.
U.S. and Wyoming companies are among the cleanest producers in the world, but their superior performance is not recognized by climate activists or in the global marketplace, which instead rewards poor performers like China.
In reality, PROVE IT forbids using its data to impose, enforce, or collect a tax or generate new regulation. Instead, its study will protect U.S. exports against overseas carbon taxes.
The European Union carbon border adjustment (CBAM), which will become entirely operational in 2026, will be followed a year later by the UK’s CBAM.
Each mechanism will require covered U.S. imports (steel, aluminum, etc.) to pay a carbon tax, which will be determined by their domestic regulations and assumptions. Moreover, other countries are likely to adopt their own CBAMs in response to these policies.
America has learned that it needs its own math to counter foreign trade policies that disadvantage U.S. exports – even from countries that are supposedly our friends.
In 2020, for example, the French government blocked a contract between a U.S. liquefied natural gas exporter and a French power company because of environmental concerns, while at the same time, approving gas imports from “dirtier” producers in Algeria and Russia.
We know through the Trump administration’s research at the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) that this arbitrary decision was not based on fact. PROVE IT will expand NETL’s work to include many more strategic economic sectors, and thus provide the needed data to push back on unfair foreign policies.
PROVE IT also has significant domestic benefits. For too long, environmentalists have used litigation to block investments that promote the national interest – ironically, in the name of the environment.
If enacted into law, the Act will weaken their fictional arguments and strengthen the case that domestic production that displaces less efficient overseas goods and resources reduces global emissions.
PROVE IT should also bolster arguments for the permitting of new infrastructure, particularly for those projects facing resistance on the grounds of the environment.
The Act’s data, moreover, would help undermine any push for over-reaching unilateral greenhouse gas (GHG) regulation of U.S. industry.
Senator Lummis knows that a second-term Biden administration would seek burdensome rules that would target GHG emissions from heavy industry, thus undermining U.S. competitiveness.
Moreover, she realizes that we need to arm ourselves to combat those efforts that would harm America.
If reelected, President Trump has promised to hold foreign economies accountable for their unfair trade practices, which includes using lax environmental compliance and enforcement to subsidize their industries at our expense.
A second term Trump administration would find the PROVE IT Act’s data incredibly helpful in doing so, which explains why Wall Street interests have aligned against it.
Thankfully, we have thoughtful leaders like Senator Lummis in Washington who will challenge big corporations and stand up for Wyoming’s miners and oil producers.
The PROVE IT Act is an America First proposal that would help the nation promote the development of its natural resources and manufacturing base and the interests of its workers, while protecting its commercial interests abroad.
George David Banks served as an international energy and environment adviser to President Trump in the National Security and National Economic Councils. He also worked as a CIA analyst and diplomat.