ICYMI: Barrasso Op-Ed: China is playing Biden officials for suckers on climate

July 24, 2023

By: U.S. Senator John Barrasso
July 24, 2023
Fox News

John Kerry, President Joe Biden’s climate envoy, was in China eager to revive joint U.S.-China efforts to tackle climate change. Chalk this up as another episode in the Biden administration’s fumbling foreign policy to placate the Chinese Communist Party.

China is playing Biden officials for suckers.

Kerry is the third administration official in the last month to make the pilgrimage to Beijing in hopes that China will play nice. They all came back empty-handed.

Bowing and scraping before dictatorial regimes is never a good look. When it comes to climate change, this administration is willing to suffer any humiliation to get China to pretend it agrees with Biden’s radical green agenda.

Kerry has a long history of peddling discredited climate hysteria and the rhetoric of impending doom.

Biden and Kerry are playing directly into the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Instead of decoupling from China, the Biden administration is making us more dependent on it. This administration is undermining America’s energy security and national security and enriching China.

This administration demands that Americans buy expensive electric cars and rely on zero-carbon energy. It does so knowing China supplies the solar panels, wind turbines and critical minerals needed to fulfill Biden’s zero-emission fantasy.

Chinese companies lead the world in producing all of these things. China is not afraid to use that dominance to manipulate global markets to its advantage.

Three days before Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made her now-famous bow in Beijing, the Chinese choked off exports of critical minerals needed for semiconductors and solar panels.

We should diversify our supply chains away from communist China. Yet Biden has withdrawn some of America’s best mineral resources from production. He has ordered his Environmental Protection Agency to prioritize climate over affordable, available and reliable energy.

China’s not making that mistake. They’re not playing by the same rules.

Kerry negotiated the Paris Agreement on behalf of the Obama administration. Since that agreement was signed at the end of 2015, China has gone on a building binge of new coal-fired electric plants.

The U.S. has done the reverse. For every coal plant the U.S. has shut down, China has built more than two. Kerry’s response has been to call that an "incredible job" while demanding America goes on an energy diet. China’s carbon footprint now is more than double that of the U.S., and the gap continues to grow.

China is playing us for suckers. It will make big and deceitful promises that Biden and Kerry are more than eager to embrace. The administration was a willing participant in China’s big COVID-19 lie. They will gladly look the other way as China dodges any serious climate change commitment.

The result is clear. The Biden-Kerry climate agenda is eliminating one of America’s biggest geopolitical advantages — affordable, abundant, reliable energy. Meanwhile, China is growing its economy with no regard to emissions.

Two years ago, Kerry called climate change, "the greatest economic opportunity we’ve ever had." Now he’s shocked to discover that, despite obscene amounts of government money, green investments are bad investments.

Just recently, Kerry lamented that pension funds aren’t doing enough to support uneconomic green investments.

The idea that fund and pension managers should focus on earning the highest returns is commonsense for most Americans. It’s a foreign concept to Kerry. It’s another example of how completely out of touch this administration is with the concerns of American families.

Democrats have tried to bribe investors and consumers with hundreds of billions in subsidies. They have pushed for environmental, social and corporate governance — or ESG — rules to justify bad investments.

China could not be happier.

The result is clear. The Biden-Kerry climate agenda is eliminating one of America’s biggest geopolitical advantages — affordable, abundant, reliable energy. Meanwhile, China is growing its economy with no regard to emissions.

The Biden administration’s approach to climate change makes us weaker and more dependent. This misguided approach puts America on a dangerous path.

Kerry should know by now that China is serious about one thing: global domination. The sooner this administration wises up to that fact, the sooner we can confront the Chinese threat.

America cannot afford the Biden administration’s climate groveling to China. Now is the time for American strength, not a slow surrender.

If the Biden administration wants a responsible energy policy, they need to encourage every kind of energy source. We need to make energy in America as clean as we can, as fast as we can, without raising costs for American families.

John Barrasso, a Republican, represents Wyoming in the U.S. Senate, and is a medical doctor. Barrasso is the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference and ranking member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.