Barrasso Responds to Schumer’s Call to have President Biden Declare Climate Emergency and Circumvent Congress

January 26, 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) issued the following statement in response to Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) calling on President Biden to declare a climate emergency and take executive actions without Congress. Last night, on MSNBC, Schumer said, “I think it might be a good idea for President Biden to call a climate emergency. Because it relates to what you’re saying. Then he can do many, many things under the emergency powers of the president that wouldn’t have to go through – that he could do without legislation.” 

“Chuck Schumer is playing with fire,” said Barrasso. “By calling on President Biden to declare a climate emergency, he is trying to muzzle Congress. Schumer wants the president to go it alone and produce more punishing regulations, raise energy costs, and kill even more American jobs. The elected representatives of the American people in the House and the Senate must have a say. Last Congress, Republicans and Democrats proved that we can work together to protect the environment. Just last month, we passed historic, bipartisan climate legislation. That law will promote carbon capture technologies and dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our vehicles and homes. Even Chuck Schumer called that bill ‘one of the biggest victories to fight global warming in a very long time.’ President Biden should work with both parties in Congress, not listen to Chuck Schumer’s dangerous ideas.” 

Background Information: 

On Dec. 22, 2020, Congress passed environmental innovation legislation as part of the omnibus. The bipartisan climate legislation included:

  • The Utilizing Significant Emissions with Innovative Technologies (USE IT) Act to promote carbon capture technologies;
  • The reauthorization of the Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) program; and
  • The American Manufacturing and Innovation (AIM) Act, which would implement a 15-year phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) at a national level for the first time, administered by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 

Barrasso served as the chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW). He worked closely with EPW Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-DE) to pass the legislation. President Trump signed the bill into law on Dec. 27, 2020.