Barrasso: I’ll Hold Turk & Admin Accountable to Commitments to Support & Expand Carbon Capture & Nuclear Power

March 11, 2021

Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.  

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered the following remarks at a business meeting to consider the nomination of David M. Turk to be deputy secretary of energy. Barrasso voted to support Turk’s nomination.  

To watch the full business meeting, click here. 

Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“Today, our committee will vote on the nomination of David Turk to serve as deputy secretary of energy. 

“If confirmed, he will play a critical role in our nation’s energy agenda and in leading the department. 

“His experience in energy policy, I believe, is extensive.

“He has served in leadership positions at the International Energy Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of State, and the National Security Council.  

“During his nomination hearing, he said that he was dedicated to all types of American energy and the need to keep America energy dominant. 

“He stated he wanted to work with our committee to support the development and expansion of American carbon capture technologies, nuclear power, and critical minerals. 

“I especially appreciated his commitment to carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration technologies, as well as the need to construct CO2 pipelines to move that captured carbon. 

“During his hearing, he said: ‘There are huge opportunities on CCUS, if we can work together and really go to scale.’ 

“I agree. 

“Republican and Democrats worked together last Congress to pass the USE IT Act – bipartisan legislation to support carbon capture technologies, including air capture, and the construction of CO2 pipelines. 

“At the Integrated Test Center, outside of Gillette, Wyoming, groundbreaking research is already taking place on carbon capture technologies. 

“These are the types of efforts the Biden administration should be embracing and fully support.

“Mr. Turk was also responsive to the committee’s written questions for the record. 

“This has not been the case with every one of President Biden’s nominees so far. 

“If confirmed, Mr. Turk must prioritize policies that take advantage of the tremendous economic and national security benefits generated by our abundant oil, natural gas, and coal resources. 

“So far, the Biden administration has declared war on American energy and implemented policies that have thrown energy workers out of work. 

“Coal, oil, and natural gas are not going away. 

“We are going to continue to rely on these abundant and affordable resources for decades to come – that’s a fact. 

“We need to promote every kind of American energy and the jobs they support.

“The Biden administration has told oil, natural gas, and coal workers that they can get new jobs as solar panel technicians. 

“If these jobs even exist, the Biden administration would be asking these workers to take an enormous cut in pay. 

“According to the Houston Chronicle, Rick Levy, the president of the Texas AFL-CIO, the state’s largest labor union, said: ‘Someone working in a refinery leaving to go install solar panels, they’re probably going to take a 75 percent pay cut.’ 

“That is unacceptable. 

“If confirmed as deputy secretary of energy, Mr. Turk must prioritize policies that are focused on maintaining America’s energy dominance. 

“This includes U.S. production of oil, natural gas, and coal. 

“The Biden administration’s policies have taken a sledgehammer to western state economies. 

“It’s already having real impacts on the lives and livelihoods of the people of my home state of Wyoming and many other states represented on this committee. 

“America needs an all of the above energy strategy that includes coal, oil, natural gas, nuclear power, and renewables. 

“Mr. Turk demonstrated that he understood that reality during his nomination hearing. 

“I will hold him and the Biden administration accountable to the commitments he made to support and expand carbon capture and nuclear power. 

“I will support his nomination.”