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Norman: We are leading the world in reducing emissions

“The left has regrettably resorted to fear tactics to scare people into action regarding climate change” 

Subcommittee on the Environment Ranking Member Ralph Norman (R-S.C.) opened today’s hearing on the role of fossil fuel subsidies by acknowledging the progress the United States has made on climate change and how the country under President Trump became a global leader in the pursuit to reduce carbon emissions and grow the economy. 

In his remarks, Subcommittee Ranking Member Norman also blasted Democrats for reintroducing the radical Green New Deal. He described the legislation as an effort by the far left to remake our economy and do away with affordable energy while destroying millions of American jobs. He concluded by emphasizing how Republicans will continue to support responsible policies that work to solve our problems by promoting innovation and investing in clean energy infrastructure.

Below are his remarks as prepared:

Thank you, Chairman Khanna. And thank you to the witnesses for their willingness to appear before the subcommittee.

I would like to begin by acknowledging the amazing progress that the United States has made on climate change. We are leading the world in reducing emissions, having reduced more than the next 12 emission reducing countries combined. Because these reductions have come via innovation and market forces, energy costs have decreased nationwide.

While it wasn’t reported by the media, the Trump Administration made substantial progress to protect the environment while simultaneously growing the economy, particularly before the COVID-19 pandemic.

My colleagues on the left have regrettably resorted to fear tactics to scare people into action regarding climate change. This is not healthy or productive.  

One survey of 30,000 people worldwide found that nearly all the people surveyed believed climate change would make humanity extinct.

Children have also been greatly impacted by the fear of climate change as well. The American Psychological Association stated that they were aware of reports that children are increasingly suffering from “eco-anxiety”.

I hope eventually our Committee can move past doomsday scenarios and headlines and focus on the energy policy steps we should be taking, and what their costs and impacts are.

Unfortunately, just this week Democrats in Congress reintroduced the Green New Deal. It should actually be called the Radical New Deal because it is not really about climate change.  

It is an effort by the far left to remake our economy and do away with affordable energy while destroying millions of jobs.

Make no mistake. The Green New Deal is not an infrastructure plan.  The Republican Study Committee has found that the Green New Deal will potentially result in a 286 percent increase in energy bills per household and about 50 percent of the entire American economy would pass through the government.  As a former small business owner, those numbers are terrifying and goes against America’s great tradition of a free market system.

As Republicans, we will continue to support responsible policies that work to solve our problems by promoting innovation and investing in clear energy infrastructure.

However, I fear that a premature move away from fossil fuels, particularly for poorer areas, means that they will continue to have little access to the type of cheap, reliable energy that enables economic growth and allows for the provision of clean water and sanitation, widespread vaccination and preventative child health services.

I look forward to hearing from the Republican witness today from the American Petroleum Institute about the impacts on jobs in his industry if the Green New Deal were to become a reality. 

I also look forward to learning about the impacts proposals by Democrats will have on the oil and gas industry if it is treated differently under the U.S. tax code.

The United States is fortunate to be have copious clean energy natural resources.

We must use those resources to advance American interests while continuing to lead the world in emissions reductions.

Inexpensive, accessible energy has led to technological, medical, and other advances that have driven the American economy and increased U.S. life expectancy.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and thank you to today’s witnesses.

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Author: Austin Hacker

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