Grassley Welcomes Gov. Branstad At Budget Hearing On Climate Change
Prepared Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa
Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Budget
Hearing titled “Lessons Learned: Leadership Perspectives and Experience
on the National Costs of Climate Change”
May 10, 2023
Today marks our eighth hearing on climate change. Today’s hearing is in a much bigger room, with a larger audience, more cameras, and an impressive panel of government leaders. If only we were using this platform to shine a light on the need for Congress to address our unsustainable debt.
Just this week, the Government Accountability Office issued a report calling on us to do just that. Yet, the other side continues to ignore their core budget responsibilities. But, I can’t say I’m surprised anymore.
Senator Marshall hit the nail on the head last week when he asked, “Why do we have this religious experience with climate rather than using common sense?” I’ve been asking myself a similar question since our first hearing. How do we get Democrats interested long enough to fulfill their budget responsibilities for the American people?
Only in D.C. could we have eight climate change hearings, while spending our country out of house and home.
Only in D.C. could we show up to work on a Tuesday afternoon and leave town on Thursday, while we’re approaching default on our national debt.
Meanwhile, Senate Democrats haven’t even attempted to write a budget resolution.
But, as we continue to focus on climate change for the eighth time, I’m glad to welcome my longtime friend, Ambassador Branstad.
As the longest serving governor in American history, Ambassador Branstad understands that we can reduce emissions and grow our economy at the same time. Alarm won’t impede the impact of climate change. A combination of adaptation, mitigation, and sound fiscal policies will.
Former Governor Branstad and I worked together during his time as Iowa’s governor to advocate for renewable and alternative energy solutions. And now, Iowa gets 60 percent of its energy from wind and leads the nation in ethanol production. We also opposed destructive federal policies, which would have driven up costs and meddled in the lives of hardworking farmers and businessmen.
We don’t need regressive taxes to drive down emissions. And we certainly shouldn’t cripple our economy with more federal regulations.
Iowa had a 90 million dollar deficit when former Governor Branstad took office in 1983. When he left office in 1999, Iowa had a 900 million dollar surplus. And, we reduced emissions while erasing that deficit. But, these impressive reductions only go so far.
Even if the entire U.S. stopped emitting greenhouse gases tomorrow, projected temperatures would only be 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit lower come 2100. Under this unrealistic scenario, the U.S. would still need major polluters, like China and India, to pull their weight.
During his three years as the U.S. Ambassador to China, Ambassador Branstad experienced the impact of China’s pollution first hand. He saw how China mistreats its own citizens, violating UN human rights standards, and American companies. I look forward to hearing the Ambassador’s first-hand account of his leadership in China and whether he believes President Biden’s policies are on the right track.
I also welcome former Prime Minister Turnbull and former Majority Leader Frist, whom I had the pleasure of serving with from 1995 to 2007.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman