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December 9, 2015

Barrasso: Climate Deal is Surrender of American Energy Security, Reliability and Jobs

“Congress must not allow the president to use this meeting in Paris to advance his own legacy at the expense of the American people and the American economy.”

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks on the Senate floor highlighting President Obama’s plan to sign an international climate change deal without congressional approval.

Transcript of Senator Barrasso’s remarks: 

“This week, the United Nations climate change conference is continuing in Paris. 

“I understand that over the weekend, several Democratic senators went to Paris to watch part of the discussion. 

“Well, I’ve been talking with people from my home state of Wyoming about this – and I will tell you that the people of Wyoming are not happy.

“They’re not happy about President Obama’s plan to destroy American energy jobs, and the communities that depend on these jobs. 

“They’re not happy about the president’s plan to give away billions – billions - of U.S. taxpayer dollars to other countries. 

“They’re not happy about the president’s plan to ignore the will of the American people, and sign an expensive and destructive treaty on climate change in Paris. 

“That’s what they think the president is planning to do – and I think they are exactly right.

“Last Friday, the Foreign Relations subcommittee that I chair released a new report called: ‘Senate Outlook on United States International Strategy on Climate Change in Paris 2015: A New Report on President Obama’s Plan to Bypass Congress and Transfer American Taxpayer Funds Overseas.’ 

“This report shows how President Obama is supporting an effort to bypass Congress and sign a climate deal that will give money to developing nations. 

“This subcommittee report found four things: 

“First, the report says that the president is making false promises to other countries about his ability to meet his own greenhouse gas reduction targets. 

“President Obama has promised to cut back American energy production dramatically. 

“The administration is pushing power-plant regulations that will destroy jobs, and make electricity more expensive and also less reliable. 

“Bipartisan majorities in Congress – in the House and in the Senate - have rejected these regulations. 

“So president Obama wants to use this international agreement to force new regulations on the American people. 

“This administration has been doing all that it can to cripple American energy producers all over the country. 

“It’s piled new regulations onto coal producers. 

“It’s blocking exports of American crude oil, and liquefied natural gas. 

“It has set emissions standards that are designed to put power plants out of business.

That was the second thing that this report found. 

“The president’s unrealistic targets and timetables for reducing our carbon emissions are threatening jobs and are threatening communities across America. 

“The third main point in this report was that the president is forcing American taxpayers to pay for it – to pay for our past economic success through his contributions to the so-called Green Climate Fund.

“Now, I did a town hall event the other day in Wyoming , and I asked people what they thought of that plan and the president using their taxpayer dollars in this way. 

“94 percent of the people in that town hall said that they oppose President Obama’s plan to send their taxes to this United Nations climate slush fund. 

“President Obama doesn’t care. 

“He says he wants that money anyway. 

“He knows that American emissions have been declining over the last decade. 

“He knows that we’re not the biggest source of carbon dioxide in the world. Far more of the emissions are coming from developing countries. 

“Well, those countries say that if they’re going to cut their emissions – if they’re going to be a part of President Obama’s plan – they say somebody else is going to have to pay up. 

“They expect developed countries like the United States will foot the bill. 

“How much money do they want? What are we talking about?

“So far, developing countries have said that they want at least $5.4 trillion – not millions, not billions, trillions - if they’re going to participate in President Obama’s scheme.

“That’s what 73 developing countries are demanding over the next 15 years.

“It doesn’t even count another 90 developing countries that haven’t made their demands public yet. 

“The reality is that a great deal of this money would end up lining the pockets of government officials in these developing countries. 

“The American people know it, they see through it – even if the Obama administration won’t admit it.

“That brings up the fourth thing that this report found. Our subcommittee found that the president plans to reach a climate change deal that ignores the American people and cuts them out of the process entirely. 

“The American public doesn’t want these policies. 

“Congress has passed laws to change these policies. 

“The Obama administration just goes on and on and makes its rules that it wants anyway. 

“The administration refuses to have accountability to the American people. 

“So, what are we talking about with regard to the money? 

“Well, it’s interesting. Just today, this morning from Paris, a report from The New York Times, ‘U.S. proposes raising spending on the climate change adaptation.’ Here’s the byline from France: ‘In an effort to help smooth the passage of a sweeping new climate accord here this week, Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Wednesday’ – announced today in Paris – ‘a proposal to double its grant-based public finance for climate change adaptation.’ It says, ‘Mr. Kerry’s announcement came as the momentum toward a deal’ -- the momentum toward a deal – ‘appeared to have hit a momentary snag.’ 

“Why? Oh, well, read further – ‘The issue of money has been a crucial sticking point in the talks, as developing countries demand" - demand – ‘demand that richer countries open up their wallets...’ 

“So John Kerry is there to open up his wallet, open up the wallet of the American taxpayers because it’s not his money. Open up the American wallet, doubling what  he's offering - doubling -  to try to buy a solution that he wants to accomplish, even though it's in the direct face and opposition to the American public. This administration, President Obama, Secretary Kerry -  out of touch with the American people who reject this expensive and destructive energy and climate policy. 

“The Obama administration is also out of touch with the rest of the world. 

“The Obama administration says that some parts of any agreement reached in Paris will be legally binding, and other parts won’t be. 

“Because, obviously, we're the Congress. We're the elected representatives of the people. We have a say. So, he's saying parts are binding, some parts are not. 

“Well, China says the whole thing is binding. The European Union say the entire thing is binding. 

“So who’s right? President Obama or the rest of the world? 

“The Obama administration says that it will give billions of our tax dollars to these developing countries.

“That includes a lot of countries who don’t like us very much. Doesn’t seem to care to the president. 

“The developing countries say they want trillions. John Kerry is there in Paris today doubling the amount of money that the president has promised, doubling just to try to buy support for something the American people don’t support.   

“And it’s interesting because if you think back just a couple of months, President Obama was frantic – desperate - to get a deal with Iran over its nuclear program because of his legacy – and he signed a terrible deal. By all accounts, a terrible deal. 

“And now he’s doing it again. 

“He is once again frantic, once again desperate  to get a climate deal in Paris. Why? Because of his so-called legacy, so he’s planning once again to sign a terrible deal.

“And he has his Secretary of State John Kerry there giving speeches and making the promises – promises the American public will have to pay for if they get their way. 

“Now, Iran says that it will play the Obama administration’s game on emissions and reduce its carbon emissions like the president wants. 

“But before it does, it expects the Obama administration to lift all of the remaining sanctions from the Iranian deal. All of the sanctions. It wants the United States and other countries to give them $840 billion over the next 15 years. That’s what’s at stake here, and those are the things the president continues to give away. 

“As he surrenders our energy security, our energy reliability, our energy jobs. A surrender by the president.

“He is desperate for approval by the other countries, when he should be focusing on the United States. 

“He seems to want to promise any policy, pledge any amount of money to get it. 

“The American people oppose sending their money to a United Nations climate slush fund.

“As their elected representatives, Congress must not allow the president to continue to try to buy popularity for himself using Americans’ tax dollars.  

“Congress must not allow the president to use this meeting in Paris to advance his own legacy at the expense of the American people and the American economy.”