Grassley Urges Focus on Responsible Budget, Rather Than Partisan Discourse, at Budget Committee’s 10th Climate Change Hearing


Prepared Opening Statement by Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa

Ranking Member, Senate Budget Committee

Hearing on “Dollars and Degrees: Investigating Fossil Fuel Dark Money’s Systemic Threats to Climate and the Federal Budget”



Today marks the 10th hearing on climate change at the Budget Committee and our 14th missed opportunity to work together on a responsible budget for the sake of the American people. We’re once again here to discuss an alleged scheme involving “fossil fuel overlords.” 

From the banks, to the insurance companies, to those they call friends on my side of aisle, Democrats accuse those they disagree with of wrongdoing. They equate a simple difference of opinion to collusion and, of course, to corruption. This is not the type of discourse that encourages bipartisanship or promotes the development of valuable legislation. 

It’s a perfect example of why Congress has deteriorated since I came here. And, it’s contributed to the extreme division within our society today.  

Throughout these climate hearings, Democrats have claimed that climate change will cause catastrophic economic collapse due to devastating natural disasters. They’ve also attributed a Republican rejection of extreme climate policy to an alleged fossil fuel disinformation conspiracy to defraud the public.  

This premise either insults the integrity, or the intelligence, of Republican legislators that diligently serve their constituents, as well our constituents. Not only does it assume catastrophe without clear scientific backing, but also, it ignores the simple fact that most Americans don’t want expensive and burdensome climate regulations. But Democrats think you’re too dumb to think for yourselves. They somehow think all knowledge resides here in Washington, D.C., when in fact, Washington is an island surrounded by reality.  

Democrats argue that Americans only despise top-down climate policy because of disinformation. They think Americans have been easily fooled into rejecting the Democrat narrative of climate destruction. I don’t agree, and most Americans don’t either.  

Iowans can clearly see that President Biden’s war on fossil fuels has been disastrous for our economy and terrible for consumers. Remember $5 gas last year?  

I’ve always said that sunlight is the best disinfectant when it comes to the people’s business. But for sunlight to work, it needs to shine in more than just politically convenient places.  

We’ve heard apocalyptic claims and alarming statistics in these climate hearings. But we’ve yet to have a real conversation about the source of these assertions because it doesn’t help the Democrat agenda.  

The Congress has had multiple hearings regarding so-called “dark money.” But I’ve yet to hear a clear definition of what “dark money” is. Since Democrats receive much more secret, or “dark money,” than Republicans, it’s clearly a partisan definition.  

I’m looking forward to hearing Mr. Walter’s explanation of this Democratic disinformation strategy. He’s been the President of Capital Research Center for seven years, an investigative think tank that connects the dots between left-wing politicians, lobbying groups, labor unions, foundations, and other nonprofits. 

If we’re going to discuss climate disinformation, it seems to me that we should take a balanced and analytical approach.  

This means we must first affirm the validity of information – what the science actually says – before making claims of disinformation. Objective climate scientists are best suited to do this, which is why I’m excited to welcome Dr. Pielke, the only climate scientist on the panel.  

Dr. Pielke is a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado teaching and writing on the intersection of climate and politics. Prior to his 22 years at Colorado, he was a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. 

I’m confident that he will shed much needed, science-driven light upon real climate disinformation.  

I would also like to welcome the Democratic witnesses who come from a diverse array of non-climate science backgrounds to testify on climate disinformation. One is a film maker, another a historian, and the latter a Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party politician.  

I look forward to listening to their testimonies and hope that they’ll be even handed in their assessments and forthright about their professional relationship with dark money groups. We’ve seen Democratic witnesses who’ve received funding from secret dark money groups. It would behoove all of us to be honest about the prevalence of so-called “dark money” on both sides of the aisle.  

Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I yield.