Barrasso: Undermining America’s Energy Security Will Not Solve Climate Change

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 hearing entitled, “Hearing to Examine Global Climate Trends and Progress in Addressing Climate Change.”

The hearing featured testimony from Dr. Fatih Birol, executive director of the International Energy Agency; Dr. Angel Hsu, assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Mark Mills, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute; Dr. Richard Newell, president and chief executive officer of Resources for the Future; and Dr. Scott Tinker, director and endowed professor at the Bureau of Economic Geology at the University of Texas at Austin. 

For more information on witness testimony click here. 

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“In December of last year, Congress passed historic, bipartisan climate innovation legislation that I worked on in the Environment and Public Works Committee with Senator Carper. 

“This was the most significant greenhouse gas reduction bill to be signed into law in well over a decade. 

“Importantly, it won’t raise costs for American families. 

“I look forward to working with you, Senator Manchin, on energy and environmental innovation in the same bipartisan spirit. 

“Today’s hearing is intended to set the baseline of knowledge about contributions to global emissions. 

“It’s a very worthwhile goal. 

“We’re holding this hearing at a very critical moment. 

“Over the past two weeks, the Biden Administration has rolled out a series of indefensible and ineffective climate policies that will ‘sacrifice’ – the term used by the nominee to be secretary of energy – tens of thousands of American jobs. 

“This hearing can provide an important reality check. 

“I think we have to stop fooling ourselves into thinking that eliminating U.S. fossil fuel production is going to solve the problem. 

“It won’t. 

“It will just make America less competitive and less energy secure. 

“The energy industry has been a critical engine of economic recovery in the past. 

“After the Great Recession, while the rest of the economy was still struggling, the oil and gas industry was investing and adding jobs at a brisk pace. 

“Because of these investments, the U.S. has some of the lowest energy costs for consumers in the world. 

“Now President Biden wants to kill energy jobs and drive up energy prices. 

“Undermining America’s energy security will not solve climate change. 

“It is unrealistic to expect that China, India, Russia, and many other large emitters will stop using fossil fuels. 

“They know the importance of affordable energy to their own economies. 

“Eliminating U.S. fossil fuels isn’t going to change any of that. 

“As data from the International Energy Agency has shown, the U.S. has become a significantly smaller source of carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. 

“U.S. emissions now account for just 14 percent of the global total, down from 25 percent just 20 years ago. 

“Over the same period of time, the share of total emissions from China jumped from 13 percent of the world’s carbon emissions all the way up to nearly 30 percent. 

“It is not just China. 

“Emerging economies like India, Brazil, South Africa, and others are all increasing energy use as they develop and grow in population. 

“The International Energy Agency expects that by the year 2030, energy use in these and other developing countries will jump by almost 20 percent.

“With almost a billion people still lacking access to electricity around the world, addressing climate change is not a priority for developing countries, especially if it hampers their economic development. 

“They do not consider it a priority in their effort for economic development. 

“Affordable, reliable, and scalable energy are the keys to reducing energy poverty, to improving human welfare, and to powering economic growth. 

“These trends mean we have to focus on practical solutions. 

“At its most fundamental level, reducing greenhouse gas emissions is a technology challenge. 

“Instead of raising the costs of traditional energy sources, we should work to lower the cost of alternate technologies like carbon capture and advanced nuclear reactors. 

“Until that happens, traditional fuels are going to continue to capture the lion’s share of global energy demand. 

“An approach based on innovation plays to our strength in America. 

“American innovation is the key to reducing global emissions. 

“Our goal should be to encourage and support that process and that progress.”