WASHINGTON, D.C. – The top Republican on the House Ways and Means Committee Kevin Brady (R-TX) delivered the following opening statement at a Full Committee Hearing on The Economic and Health Consequences of Climate Change.
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Remarks as prepared for delivery:
“Thank you, Chairman, for calling this hearing.
“We believe that the key to successfully tackling climate change is American innovation.
“Innovation is what made America the global energy leader, and what will make us the driving force behind clean and affordable energy as a realistic, practical solution to greenhouse gas emissions.
“Our goal is to find ways to make clean energy more affordable, not drive up traditional energy costs for working families and Main Street businesses.
“As we know from experience – like with the failed ‘stimulus’ – simply throwing billions of dollars from D.C.’s coffers toward federal programs and hoping that it sticks somewhere is not going to solve this challenge.
“We must instead incentivize affordable clean energy and make smart investments in cutting-edge technologies.
“Because consumers want clean energy – and the market is reacting well to that without government interference. Let’s build on that momentum.
“But the way to do so is not through increased taxes and overly burdensome regulations.
“We need to instead make it easier for our job creators to speed up innovation for cleaner and cheaper energy technology.
“With our economy continuing to soar following the GOP Tax Cuts, we must ensure America maintains this competitive edge as we work to combat climate change.
“Let’s use this growing economy as the key to unlocking the door of even more innovative market solutions.
“We are seeing that innovation in Texas, where in the Permian Basin – which is producing more oil than any other basin on Earth – methane emissions per unit of oil and gas produced has plunged by 57 percent, even as production of affordable energy has soared.
“And as a country, compared to China and other signatories of the Paris Agreement, we have seen a remarkable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
“The world needs a leader in discovering new clean energy technology – and whatever country wins that race will greatly benefit because of it, as will people around the world.
“That innovation leader needs to be the United States.
“We believe a carbon tax is not the solution to address our environmental challenges.
“Other countries that have implemented a carbon tax impact on global emissions have been negligible. Many have simply exported their pollution to places like Russia.
“Instead of raising taxes on working families in America who can least afford it, the answer to decreasing emissions is found by empowering American innovators to create global clean energy solutions.
“If we want to export clean energy technologies to every corner of the globe to reduce greenhouse gases, we must remove foreign barriers to American innovators.
“Republicans have long supported the Environmental Goods Agreement negotiations at the World Trade Association which would levy zero tariffs on environmental technologies and services sold around the world. It’s time to get that done.
“As with anything of value, Congress needs to decide if this is a political issue with no solution in sight or a vital policy issue that both parties can work to find common ground. We choose common ground.
“Regrettably, today the leading Democrat plan to combat climate change is the so-called ‘Green New Deal,’ which many Democrats on this Committee have enthusiastically embraced.
“That plan is socialist policy simply masquerading as ‘green’ – it is outlandish, unrealistic, and frankly unhelpful.
“At its core, the Green New Deal would just export American manufacturing jobs to other countries where manufacturing is dirtier and emissions are growing while at the same time killing American jobs.
“Instead of advocating for these unrealistic policies, let’s find bipartisan solutions that support American innovation, lower energy costs, and drive our economy.
“Thank you, Chairman.”