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 regarding the Democrats’ decision to duck the Green New Deal vote.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Many Democrats have called climate change the greatest challenge of our time.
“Representative Ocasio-Cortez – the Green New Deal’s lead sponsor – she calls climate change ‘our World War 2.’
“She said, ‘The world is going to end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.’
“Senator Schumer said climate change is ‘an existential threat.’
“When the Green New Deal was introduced just last month, Democrats lined up to support it.
“Senator Markey called it ‘the kind of generational commitment we need to transform our economy and our democracy.’
“Every Democrat senator running for president of the United States is a cosponsor.
“Every single one.
“When Leader McConnell called for a vote, Senator Schumer said: ‘Go for it. Bring it on.’
“Presidential Candidate Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota agreed, saying she would vote ‘yes.’ We’ll see what she does today.
“Well, this week the Senate will vote on the Green New Deal.
“All senators will have a chance to go on the record.
“A chance to show whether they support this radical approach.
“But it sounds like rather than vote for the Green New Deal they introduced and they cosponsored, it sounds like some Democrats are trying to run away from something they previously embraced.
“If so many Democrat Party leaders support the Green New Deal, why aren’t they willing to vote for it and stand up behind it today?
“The answer is obvious: the Democrats are ducking the vote.
“But why? The answer is pretty simple.
“The Green New Deal is unaffordable, it is unworkable, and it is unpopular.
“When you add up all of the cost in the 10-year price tag of $93 trillion – that’s enough to bankrupt America.
“That cost is astronomical. It would hit every American really hard – about $65,000 per family, per year.
“That would empty just about every bank account in America.
“I believe it would drive a stake right through the heart of our strong, healthy, and growing economy.
“The Green New Deal would massively increase the role of government in our lives and the size of government, the expense of government.
“The climate is changing. It requires a serious response.
“The Green New Deal is not that response.
“This plan would eliminate fossil fuels.
“It would require 100 percent renewable, carbon-free energy in just 10 years.
“The goal is to meet all of our energy demand in the United States ‘through clean, renewable, and zero-emission energy sources.’
“We need more renewable energy, but the goal of going from where we are to where they want to be is absolutely impossible in the period of time outlined.
“Robert Blohm from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation wrote in the Wall Street Journal, ‘An all-renewable power grid is destined to collapse.’
“America can’t tolerate a collapsed power grid.
“Plus it wouldn’t solve the problem.
“Turning off America’s economy won’t lower global emissions.
“America is leading the way in reducing emissions.
“Since 2007, U.S. energy emissions have fallen by 14 percent, while global emissions continue to rise.
“In 2017 the United States produced just 13 percent of global emissions. China and India together produced over 33 percent.
“Emissions will continue to climb until these countries take action. Emissions in the United States continues to decline.
“Shutting down our energy would also harm American workers.
“That’s why major labor unions oppose the Green New Deal.
“The AFL-CIO labor union, which represents 12.5 million workers, says: ‘We will not accept proposals that could cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families.’
“Even former President Obama’s Energy secretary, Ernie Moniz, called the Green New Deal ‘impracticable.’
“He says it would hurt American progress in reducing emissions.
“That progress came from innovation, not massive government taxation and regulation.
“Congress must continue to support technologies like nuclear power and carbon capture and utilization – things that we know make a difference.
“We have done this in a bipartisan way in these areas.
“I want to continue to work with Democrats to find real solutions. We have passed legislation in a bipartisan way for advanced nuclear power plants, for carbon capture, sequestration – using the carbon in productive ways.
“The Green New Deal is not the solution for America.
“It’s a big green bomb that will blow a hole in our strong, healthy, and growing economy.
“That’s exactly why Democrats aren’t voting for it. That’s exactly why Democrats are ducking, dodging, and distancing themselves from this so-called Green New Deal.
“It is a radical plan.
“And it’s exactly why Democrats are running away from the Green New Deal as fast as they can.”