Grassley Backs ‘Practical Solutions’ for Adapting to Climate Change, Welcomes Iowa Witness

Opening Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Ranking Member, Senate Committee on the Budget

Hearing on “Bottlenecks and Backlogs: How Climate Change Threatens Supply Chains”

Wednesday, October 25, 2023





This morning the Budget Committee holds its 12th hearing in 10 months on climate change. 

Over the course of these hearings, we’ve heard sensationalist and the alarmist rhetoric used to mislead the public on climate change and draw support for top-down policies.

We’ve heard broad, unsubstantiated assertions of impending disaster and destruction. Claims that aren’t supported by a robust review of the science. Hearing after hearing, Democrats have chosen not to invite a single climate scientist as a witness. 

I prefer to do just the opposite.

I want to learn from and legislate based on discussions with both my constituents and experts like climate scientist Patrick Brown.

He recently exposed how academia demands scientists omit key facts and tout certain climate narratives in order to be published in high profile journals. And of course, we all know, publication advances a person in academia. 

These publications, skewed by predetermined conclusions, are then used by activists to push a far left agenda. 

Dr. Brown hit the nail on the head stating that this dishonesty “distorts a great deal of climate science research, misinforms the public and, most importantly, makes practical solutions more difficult to achieve.”

And remember, those practical approaches have created a situation where the United States is at the 2005 level of greenhouse gases going into the air. I believe [that’s] better than any other county. Europe was ahead of us, I think Europe slipped a bit recently. 

So, what Dr. Brown has said as examples of other people that approach it the same way, that’s exactly what’s happened here in the Senate. 

Using non-scientists to spread alarm and tout distorted climate research – that happens to be a disservice to our constituents.

This has pushed us further from finding practical solutions to adapt to climate change, and those are the solutions that I’m looking for. 

Our country is in dire need of energy permitting reform to reduce emissions, save taxpayer dollars and secure our energy grid. Politics drives us away from reaching these solutions. 

What’s worse is that we’re $33 trillion in debt. Take out the savings from the Supreme Court striking down the Biden student loan bailout, and the deficit last year was $2 trillion. That’s a larger deficit as a share of our economy than all but five years since the end of World War II.

Americans can’t afford groceries and gasoline. From Iowa to Rhode Island, inflation is reducing the purchasing power of all Americans.

Yet, this committee didn’t write a budget for this fiscal year and it’s unlikely to do so for the coming year. Moreover, despite bipartisan interest, this committee has been very slow in working to reform our broken budget process. 

It’s time that we start doing the people’s work.

While unrelated to climate change, supply chains for many different goods face immediate threats: Putin waging war on Ukraine; President Xi threatening to invade Taiwan and using Uighurs for slave labor; Hamas recently killed over 1,000 Israeli civilians and sparked war in the Middle East. 

Beyond the horrific impacts on those in the midst of these events, they pose risks to global supply chains for necessities, including food and energy.

If we’re going to discuss supply chains, this committee should discuss our most pressing domestic and international concerns. That’s why I’m proud to welcome Mr. McNally. 

Mr. McNally has dedicated his career to analyzing the global energy supply chain and its relationship with both geopolitical and climate policy threats. 

Prior to founding his own consulting firm, he worked on both the National Economic Council and the National Security Council – serving as President George W. Bush’s top domestic and international energy advisor in the White House.

I’m also pleased to welcome a fellow Iowan, a 6th generation Iowan, Dr. David Barker. Prior to serving on Iowa’s Board of Regents and building his real estate business, Dr. Barker taught economics courses at both the University of Iowa and the University of Chicago. He also served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which I consider a prestigious position to be working.

Democrats on this committee have consistently expressed their belief that climate change will cause devastating shocks to the global economy. We’re likely to hear more of the same today.

Dr. Barker, I’m looking forward to hearing your testimony on the relationship between temperature increases and GDP growth. Your economic analysis will allow us to put aside the politics of climate change and discuss what the data is telling us. 

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.