406 Dirksen EPW Hearing Room

John Barrasso


The Honorable John Barrasso
Statement on Agriculture and Climate Change
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee
10:00 AM, 406 Dirsken SOB
 July 14, 2009
Thank you Madame Chairman,
The Waxman-Markey bill may create green jobs.  It may even create green jobs in the agricultural sector.  If it does, good.
We need green jobs in my State.  Wyoming welcomes the possibility of them. 
But the Waxman-Markey bill also costs jobs and Americans want all jobs, not just some. 
They don’t want to lose the jobs they have with the promise that “they may get a green job in exchange.”
The Administration says the Waxman-Markey will create millions of new jobs.
This Administration also promised that after we passed the economic stimulus package, we would create or save 3.5 million jobs.
Since the passage of that bill, unemployment has reached 9.5%.  Last month, 467,000 people lost their jobs.
The Administration’s economic experts said that unemployment would not exceed 8%.
Were they wrong?  You bet.
Vice President Biden acknowledged administration officials were too optimistic earlier this year when they predicted the unemployment rate would peak at 8 percent.
Vice President Biden said the Administration and I quote ‘misread the economy.’” 
Is it possible then that the Administration is misreading the economic predictions of millions of new jobs being created in this bill?
They Administration failed to make the grade on the $787 billion stimulus package. 
It is a fact that this legislation will cost jobs in our economy.   
That is why there is language in the bill to retrain workers who lose their jobs.
Where will those job losses come from?
According to Robert Murray, chairman, President and CEO of Cleveland-based Murray Energy Corporation, “All Americans in the Midwest, South and Rocky Mountain regions will be the most dramatically affected because the climate change legislation will destroy the nation’s coal industry and the low cost electricity it has provided for these regions for generations.”
He goes on to say “Wealth will be transferred away from almost every state to the West Coast and New England.”
There is a pattern for this approach.
Last week, there was an article in USA Today entitled “Billions in aid go to areas that backed Obama in '08.”  This was in regards to the President’s stimulus package.
I would ask that this article be put in the record.
The article said “The reports show the 872 counties that supported Obama received about $69 per person, on average. The 2,234 that supported McCain received about $34.”
Where are most of the counties that voted for the President?
The West Coast and New England.
I believe Waxman-Markey will create some jobs and destroy others. 
But their won’t be a net job creation in my State and many rural states with economies tied to the mineral industry and dependent on fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.
Jobs will be lost. 
Jobs in my State, and in other rural states dependent on fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas.
We need more jobs in all fifty States.  And we need to keep the ones we have.
Americans want all these jobs and more.  We need them all.