Barrasso: I Won’t Stand By as the Biden Administration Tries to Crush Wyoming’s Economy

February 3, 2021

Click here to watch Senator Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks at a business meeting to consider the nomination of the Honorable Jennifer Granholm to be the secretary of energy. Barrasso voted to oppose Granholm’s nomination.

To watch the full business meeting, click here. 

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“During Governor Granholm’s testimony, she stated she understands the need for American energy dominance and American energy innovation.

“She agreed that it was a good thing that the United States is the world’s leading producer of oil and natural gas. 

“She agreed that low energy prices and high paying American energy jobs were good things. 

“And Governor Granholm agreed that American fossil fuels being exported around the world helps keep America an influential energy super power. 

“I was encouraged to hear her commit to the development of carbon capture technologies and advanced nuclear power. 

“Carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration and nuclear development hold the key to significant emissions reductions. 

“She also rightly recognized the need to support America’s uranium production and supply of critical minerals. 

“These are prime examples of areas where there is bipartisan agreement on how to address climate change. 

“For these reasons, she has the votes to clear this committee and be confirmed on the Senate floor. 

“I expect we are work together closely on these efforts when she is at the department of energy. 

“Governor Granholm also stated multiple times that she did not want see anyone lose their job or get left behind. 

“But that is precisely what the Biden administration is doing. 

“By signing executive orders to ban oil, gas, and coal production on federal lands, to kill the Keystone XL Pipeline, and to rejoin the Paris climate agreement, the president will throw thousands of Americans out of work. 

“Their livelihoods are being sacrificed in the name of the Biden agenda. 

“The Biden administration is telling these oil rig, coal mine, and well workers that they can simply get new jobs ‘building solar panels.’ 

“In the words of John Kerry, these policies will give these workers ‘better choices.’ 

“In 2019, the average salary of an energy worker in the oil, gas, or coal industry was roughly $75,000 per year. 

“The average salary of a solar panel installer is about $45,000 per year. 

“So if the Biden administration gets its way, it will give energy workers the ‘better choice’ of taking a $30,000 pay cut. 

“That’s if these jobs even exist. 

“To that point, the Washington Post Fact Checker said John Kerry was offering ‘false hope with a misleading use of statistics.’ 

“We have heard this all before when President Biden was vice president. 

“I call it ‘the Solyndra Syndrome’ – millions of green jobs that never materialize. 

“The Washington Post Fact Checker said it expects just 10,400 new wind and solar jobs over the next ten years.  

“In Wyoming alone, a ban on oil, gas, and coal leasing on federal land could result in 33,000 workers losing their jobs. 

“Where are these workers supposed to go? 

“How will they provide for their families?

“As I said at the governor’s nomination hearing, I will not stand by as the Biden administration tries to crush Wyoming’s economy. 

“Tens of thousands of workers in other states like New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Montana will lose their jobs as well. 

“The leasing ban will also cut hundreds of millions of dollars that are used by states to pay for public schools, roads and bridges, and other essential services. 

“I cannot support a Biden administration agenda that throws my constituents out of work and kills the economies of the communities in which they live. 

“During their first weeks in office, President Biden and his administration have declared war on American energy. 

“I can’t in good conscience vote to approve his nominee for secretary of energy. 

“For this reason, I will not support the nomination.”