Hearings - Statement
 
Statement of David Vitter
Hearing: Full Committee hearing entitled, “Legislative Hearing on America’s Climate Security Act of 2007, S. 2191.”
Thursday, November 15, 2007

Madame Chairman, thank you for agreeing to hold this hearing today on S. 2191, America ’s Climate Security Act.

This bill has been the focus of attention for thousands of my constituents. I've met people and industries who have come out of the woodwork to express their grave concern with this bill.

The more time I spend focusing on this bill, the more I'm concerned about two things the proponents of this legislation tout.

The Environment: supporters of this bill claim that this legislation will improve the environment and reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the environment. Those sound like laudable goals; however, will that be the outcome?  Imposing mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions will increase the cost of doing business in the United States . There is no question. The bill's sponsors have admitted this fact.

Keep in mind that the United States already has some of the most stringent environmental and labor standards.  The United States is already in the world one of the most expensive places to do business.  So, what happens when U.S. manufacturers decide that due to this additional regulation -- that the majority of other nations do not have to deal with – to move their operations to China, Mexico or India ? How stringent are the environmental standards in these countries?  How can our labor unions compete?

What is the net effect on the environment?  I can tell you that the greenhouse gas emissions per kilo-watt hour in the United States is much lower than that of those other nations such as China and India. This bill has just increased pollution, lost American jobs and left an abandoned factory in the United States. 

The Economy: How does the economy respond to this bill?  Well, as all of these American manufacturers move to China, Mexico or India, our unemployment increases, our tax base decreases, our economy slumps.  It is very simple, increasing the cost of doing business and regulation in an already expensive business climate, decreases employment opportunities, income and economic activity. The United States will lose its leverage and global competitiveness unless we have these other nations at the table.

 

The proponents of this bill will argue that this bill will benefit the economy and environment.  To those claims I respond, then let the Energy Information Administration and others fully evaluate the bill. We need a clear analysis of how this bill will impact energy prices, natural gas prices, prices at the gas pump and how it will impact ratepayers and consumers. Driving blind like what is being proposed in this bill could have dire consequences. I want to thank our witnesses today and look forward to hearing from you.

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