January 27, 2021
“Maybe he thinks that imposing top-down regulations on every American would bring us all together…We want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder—but not in the unemployment line.”
Click here to watch Sen. Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) spoke on the Senate floor about President Biden’s recent actions on American energy that will crush energy jobs and hurt American families and small businesses across the nation.
Excerpts of Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor today to discuss some of the first actions that have been taken by the new administration.
“At his inauguration, President Biden spoke about the importance of uniting the country, bringing us together. The importance of unity.
“I agree. We have been much too divided as a nation. We need to bring America together.
“Yet just a few hours after his inaugural address, President Biden issued one executive order after another that I believe is only going to drive America further apart.
“He hasn’t really reached out. He hasn’t really tried to work with us.
“At a time when millions of people across the country are struggling with unemployment and the effects of a global pandemic, President Biden has taken actions that will actually raise the cost of living on people all across the country.
“In particular, President Biden has taken aim at American energy.
“In Wyoming, energy production does a lot more than just keep the lights on. It puts food on the table, and it does it for thousands of families.
“It pays for our school, our education, our roads.
“In Wyoming, we produce coal and oil and natural gas. Uranium, as well, for nuclear power.
“We also have incredible renewable resources. Wyoming, in many ways, has world class wind. We are experiencing that today in Casper, Wyoming.
“Wyoming has some of the largest reserves of energy in terms of resources anywhere in the country.
“In Wyoming, we produce 15 times more energy than we use in our state. It actually makes us the country’s largest net energy supplier.
“Energy production is the economic life blood of Wyoming.
“It’s a major source of revenue. It pays for, as I said, our schools, our roads, our bridges, and essential services for all of our citizens.
“Wyoming is very proud of our energy workers. Remarkable men and women every day get up, go to work to put food on the table, clothing on their kids’ backs.
“The whole country benefits from the energy that comes from Wyoming.
“Thanks to America's energy workers, in 2019 America became energy independent. It was the first time we became independent in over 60 years.
“That makes it easier for families to make ends meet. It makes us stronger on the world stage.
“It decreases our reliance on energy from other sources, like foreign powers who want to do us harm.
“Thanks to our American energy workers, America is an energy superpower. I believe, we should be acting like it.
“That’s why it’s remarkable when I see President Biden painting a target on the back of American energy. That’s what he has been doing with his executive orders, including today.
“Despite all of the talk about unity, one of the first things that President Biden has done in office is to directly attack energy-producing states like Wyoming.
“It’s actually turned out to be his number one priority.
“The White House is calling today ‘Climate Day.’ This morning, President Biden stopped all new oil, gas, and coal leases on federal lands.
“Half of the state of Wyoming is federally owned.
“Experts tell us that a long-term ban could cost us 33,000 jobs in Wyoming, for a state of only half a million people.
“Earlier today at a hearing of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, where I am the Ranking Member, the Senior Republican, I asked the President’s nominee for Secretary of Energy about how the President’s ban would affect jobs.
“She admitted that in terms of jobs, she said some ‘jobs…might be sacrificed.’
“Saying no to American energy production means less energy, less economic activity and less money in the pockets of American workers.
“It’s not going to do a thing to lower emissions. It won't bring down global temperatures, but it will bring down workers’ wages. It won't cool down planet Earth, but it will cool down our nation’s economy.
“Energy producers will simply go elsewhere while families in our country will suffer.
“President Biden has also put a stop to the Keystone pipeline. It’s been in the headlines.
“The pipeline creates jobs, it reduces energy prices, and it strengthens our bonds with our neighbor to the north, with Canada.
“The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, he is no conservative. He is known to be extremely progressive.
“Even he has said he was ‘disappointed’ in the decision by President Biden to cancel the pipeline.
“President Biden’s very first phone call with a foreign leader since becoming President was with Prime Minister Trudeau.
“The Prime Minister raised the issue on the call. President Biden shut down the pipeline anyway.
“It’s also been reported that TC Energy warned the president’s administration that the Keystone Pipeline means thousands of construction jobs, many of those union jobs, they’re gone.
“President Biden shut it down anyway.
“President Biden has also begun the process of putting us back into the Paris climate accord.
“Under that agreement, the Biden administration is going to set unworkable targets for American businesses.
“So what does that mean? It hurts America, but it means China and Russia can continue with business as usual.
“It's a bad deal for our country. It makes us less competitive. It sacrifices energy jobs to try to stop climate change, which it will not do.
“The Paris climate agreement is based on the fantasy that climate change is America's fault.
“In reality, the United States is the leading driver of innovative climate solutions.
“President Biden's actions aren't just targeting American energy. They're also going after America’s small businesses.
“President Biden is calling on this body to vote to double the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
“Maybe the president's idea of national unity is national uniformity. But that doesn’t work in Wyoming, or for the people of Wyoming.
“Maybe he thinks that imposing top-down regulations on every American would bring us all together.
“That's not the kind of unity the American people are looking for.
“We want to stand shoulder-to-shoulder—but not in the unemployment line.
“In 2019, well before the pandemic hit, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that mandating a $15 minimum wage nationwide would lead to 1.3 million fewer Americans working.
“At a time when 10 million Americans are unemployed due to our pandemic, 1.3 million Americans more can’t afford to lose their jobs.
“The CBO also says it would lead to higher prices for consumers.
“This could hurt America’s small businesses all across the country.
“I talked to a small business owner from Lovell, Wyoming, Jimmy Minchow, he has a Sinclair station there.
“He called me on Sunday. Said $15 an hour, he has a station, the food court next to it in Lovell—he said we'd have to shut down the food court. Can't afford $15 an hour for the young people who are working there, putting money in their pockets, providing food and services to the people of the community. $15 an hour shut it down.
“The job ticker is now on President Biden’s watch. The president will be judged by his decisions.
“The Senate, right before Christmas, passed another round of Paycheck Protection Program—we all supported. These are loans to help small businesses.
“Doubling the minimum wage is going to hurt small businesses and force them to lay off employees. Like what will likely happen in Lovell, Wyoming and all across the Cowboy State.
“This is going to hurt the very people these loans are supposed to be helping.
“A bill to provide $900 billion of relief was signed just in late December.
“President Biden now wants to double that amount of funding.
“Democrats may try to ram the bill through the Senate using a process called budget reconciliation.
“This entire cost will be added to our national debt.
“If it occurs, it will likely be done without a single Republican vote.
“This isn’t unity. It’s not bipartisanship. It’s not healing our divisions.
“This is a time for President Biden to heed the words of his own inaugural address.
“We need to work together—to lower the cost of living, to produce more energy, to create more jobs and to create more opportunities for every American.
“That's how we bring our nation together. That’s what we ought to do now.”