Click here to watch Chairman Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW), delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor on how the Green New Deal would increase the size of government.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“The Green New Deal isn’t about protecting our environment.
“It’s about increasing the size and the scope of federal government.
“Every Democrat senator running for president supports the Green New Deal.
“By cosponsoring the Green New Deal, these senators have shown Americans what they actually do support as an agenda for America.
“And that’s massively increasing the size of government.
“This year the federal government is projected to spend over $4 trillion.
“That amount includes everything – Social Security, national defense, Medicare, all of it.
“If we pass the Green New Deal, it could cost up to $93 trillion over the next 10 years.
“That’s $9.3 trillion a year – more than double what the government currently spends.
“So you see, the Green New Deal would massively expand the federal government.
“And that’s exactly what Democrat senators running for president want to and plan to do if elected.
“Don’t be confused by Senate Democrats’ ducking this vote on the Green New Deal.
“This is where Democrats would take our country if they were to retake the White House.
“The Green New Deal would bankrupt the nation, would wreak havoc, and wreck the economy.
“Republicans’ pro-growth, pro-jobs policies have strengthened the economy and improved American families in their everyday life at home.
“Because of tax relief, millions of families have more money now in their pockets to decide what to spend, what to save, and what to invest.
“The plan would eliminate fossil fuels by requiring 100 percent renewable, carbon-free energy in just 10 years.
“Climate change is real, but the Green New Deal is unrealistic.
“While it’s important, in 2017 wind and solar energy generated just 8 percent of our electricity –should we have more? Yes.
“Affordable, reliable fossil fuels like coal and natural gas power three-out-of-five U.S. homes and businesses.
“Excluding fossil fuels would snuff out the bright lights of Americans’ prosperity.
“It would threaten national security, would threaten jobs; it would our independence from foreign energy, and all of Americans’ high standard of living.
“What Democrats are proposing is essentially a pipe dream.
“No surprise Democrats have yet to provide a cost estimate.
“They don’t want Americans to know the Green New Deal could cost up to $93 trillion over the next 10 years.
“That’s roughly $65,000 each and every year for each and every family in America.
“The nation is already over $22 trillion in debt, so how are they planning to pay for this? By doing what they often plan to do – raising taxes.
“Paying a $93 trillion bill would empty just about every American’s savings account in the country.
“And let’s not forget, the Green New Deal would not actually solve the problem.
“They want it done immediately. They want it done drastically.
“It’s in a level of alarm that is not in any way called for.
“When you think about the American economy and what we’re about to do in this country –it’s a strong economy that allows for a clean environment.
“The label ‘Made in America’ means more than the country of origin – it means better for the environment.
“We’re being asked to destroy our strong and growing and improving economy and allow the largest polluters to grow at our expense.
“Right now 13 percent of the emissions come from the United States, but 33 percent come from China and from India.
“Emissions in the United States have been declining for the last dozen years while they continue to go up in China and India and other locations around the world.
“So why do the Democrats want to do this? They would like to engineer a big-government takeover – or I should say, transformation – of the U.S. economy.
“There’s a real solution that won’t wreck our economy.
“The solution is not taxation. It is not regulation. It is innovation.
“Republicans continue to work in a bipartisan way to advance innovative strategies for reducing carbon emissions.
“First, we’re working to promote carbon capture and using that carbon and sequestrating it.
“That means taking carbon out of the atmosphere and using it productively.
“For medical products, construction products, for extracting oil.
“Last year the Senate passed the bipartisan FUTURE Act – it was signed into law —expands tax credits for carbon capture facilities.
“Now we’re advancing the bipartisan USE IT Act, which will help turn carbon that is captured into viable products.
“A second way Republicans are working in a bipartisan way to reduce emissions is by supporting nuclear power.
“Nuclear power generates about 60 percent of American-produced carbon-free energy. By far the largest source of American carbon free energy.
“It’s much more than double solar and wind power combined.
“In late December we passed the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act.
“This legislation had Republican and Democrat support.
“Signed into law by President Trump, this law will help innovators develop advanced nuclear reactors that are safer, cleaner, more versatile.
“It’s simplifying the process on the front-end for innovators to build state-of-the-art nuclear reactors.
“These advanced reactors are going to power the next generation of nuclear plants.
“We need them to expand the use of carbon-free energy. We also need to maintain our current existing nuclear power plants.
“And Congress needs to address how we manage nuclear waste.
“Nuclear power is an area with broad bipartisan agreement.
“We must continue to work together on nuclear power.
“A third approach Republicans are taking to reduce emissions is increasing the use of renewable energy.
“Republicans have repeatedly passed tax incentives to promote clean energy.
“These include tax credits for wind and solar panels, as well as incentives for biodiesel and compressed natural gas.
“We know all these innovative strategies work.
“We see it in America’s unparalleled success in reducing emissions.
“This progress is not the result of taxation. It’s not the result of regulation. It’s the result of American innovation.
“Our cutting-edge technologies can be adopted globally.
“Republicans want to make America’s energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can while investing in promising innovations for the future.
“Democrats want more government control of our economy, control of our lives despite the cost to American families and American taxpayers.
“Let’s continue to pass real climate solutions, not these far-left fantasies.
“Let’s focus on what works for our environment and our economy, not what works for Democrats running for president.
“Republicans are going to continue to oppose the unrealistic, unworkable, unaffordable proposals like the Green New Deal.
“It’s a big green bomb Democrats are ducking. They are dodging it.
“The Democrats are ducking this for a good reason. They know what a disaster it would be for our nation.”