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 Democrats’ Green New Deal resolution.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Mr. President, today I come to the floor to discuss the so-called ‘Green New Deal.’
“America needs every form of energy to succeed.
“But Democrats’ extreme Green New Deal would send our strong, our healthy and our growing economy careening over a liberal cliff.
“This radical plan would eliminate fossil fuels by requiring 100 percent renewable, carbon-free energy in just 10 years.
“Clearly, Mr. President, we recognize the climate is changing.
“And the global community has a collective duty to address it.
“Renewables like wind and solar are a key part of the solution.
“Still, wind and solar today provide only 8 percent of our power.
“Abundant, reliable and affordable fossil fuels like coal and natural gas power three-out-of-five U.S. homes and businesses.
“Excluding them would harm national security, would make us dependent on foreign energy, would destroy jobs and would reduce our quality of life.
“In a letter to Green New Deal sponsors, the AFL-CIO – the nation’s federation of labor unions, they represent about 12.5 million employees and 55 different unions– they call the plan a threat to U.S. workers: ‘We will not accept proposals that could cause immediate harm to millions of our members and their families.’
“The AFL-CIO also says the plan is ‘not achievable or realistic.’
“I agree with them.
“Renewables by themselves couldn’t keep the lights on.
“An all-renewable electric power grid would collapse.
“This isn’t serious environmental policy, it’s a pipe dream.
“Democrats have yet to provide a cost estimate for the Green Deal.
“One analysis by the former director of the Congressional Budget Office estimates it could cost up to $93 trillion. That’s trillion with a ‘T’.
“That’s more than the U.S. government has spent in our nation’s entire history – combined.
“We are $22 trillion in debt now, so how are we going to pay for it?
“By borrowing more money we don’t have – and by hiking taxes.
“This crushing burden would fall hardest on working families.
“But to get to this number it would drain everyone’s bank account in America.
“The Green New Deal would cost every American family as much as $65,000 every year – more than the average family makes in a year.
“The average Wyoming family’s annual income is $61,000.
“But despite the heavy toll it would take, the Green New Deal still would fail to significantly lower the Earth’s temperature.
“America already leads the world in reducing carbon emissions.
“In 2017 the U.S. produced just 13 percent of global emissions. China and India produced 33 percent.
“It doesn’t make any sense to destroy our competitive economy and allow the biggest polluters prioritize growth at our expense.
“Back-breaking tax increases and heavy-handed mandates are not the answer.
“The solution is promoting free-market innovation.
“Republicans continue to advance several innovative strategies for reducing emissions.
“First, we are encouraging carbon capture utilization and sequestration technologies.
“That means actually capturing carbon and using it productively.
“For medical products. For construction products.
“Last year we passed the bipartisan FUTURE Act, which expands tax credits for carbon capture facilities.
“The Clean Air Task Force calls it ‘one of the most important bills for reducing global warming pollution in the last two decades.’
“Our carbon capture work continues with the bipartisan USE IT Act, which would help turn captured emissions into valuable products.
“The other thing, we are promoting advanced nuclear power technologies.
“Nuclear power has helped lower emissions by providing most of America’s carbon-free energy.
“In late December we passed the bipartisan Nuclear Energy Innovation and Modernization Act.
“This law will help innovators develop new-age nuclear reactors that are cheaper, better and more reliable.
“We also have extended the nuclear tax credit to speed completion of two new nuclear reactors – the first in a generation.
“Together that will prevent 10 million tons of emissions every year.
“Third, we are encouraging the increased use of renewables.
“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.
“The clean-energy strategy that Republicans have been working on is working because America leads the world in reducing energy-related emissions.
“Since 2007, U.S. emissions have been down by 14 percent.
“This progress is the result of innovation.
“Let’s continue to promote proven solutions.
“Let’s reject the Democrats’ Green New Deal as unreasonable, unworkable and unaffordable.”