Senator Cornyn

Cornyn: Wyden Energy Bill Costly and Ineffective

May 25, 2021

WASHINGTON – Today on the floor, U.S. Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) decried Democrats’ socialist energy policies that would produce worse outcomes for more money than innovative solutions like his LEADING Act, which was signed into law last year. Excerpts of Sen. Cornyn’s remarks are below, and video can be found here.

“We’re often recognized as an oil and gas powerhouse, which we are, but most folks don’t know that we’re the number one producer of energy from wind, the number one renewable resource. In fact, we now produce one-quarter of all wind energy in the United States so if Texas were a country…we’d be the fifth largest wind energy producer in the world.”

“Over the last couple of years, we’ve seen no shortage of unrealistic and downright harmful policies that are advocated for in the name of reducing carbon emissions. Some of our colleagues have proposed everything from the socialist paradise that is the Green New Deal to a more targeted, but no more realistic, net zero emissions bill. Tomorrow, as I suggested, the Finance Committee will mark up the latest proposal, legislation introduced by Chairman Wyden known by the innocuous name of the Clean Energy for America Act. But the bill is anything but innocuous.”

“At its core though it is an anti-fossil fuel bill.”

“This proposal uses a variety of tax increases to place a squeeze on fossil fuel producers and to push America toward renewables which accounted for no less than 20% of our energy production last year.”

“This proposal would drive up costs for American energy producers and consumers who would be the ones ultimately footing the bill. Namely, senior citizens and those on fixed incomes would be the ones hurt the most. I also have serious concerns about how this dramatic shift would impact our energy security. The higher cost on domestic oil would once again make U.S. reliant on countries like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela for our energy needs.”

“After years of building our energy independence and strengthening our energy security, now is not the time to turn back the clock. We simply should not put ourselves in a position where we’re reliant on any other country, let alone our adversaries, to keep our lights on and to keep our economy humming.”

“As we all know, though, the Highway Trust Fund is in dire straits unless something changes. The shortfall over the next decade is expected to be nearly $200 billion dollars.”

“This legislation extends electric vehicle incentives, which will come at the cost of other taxpayers, without addressing the fact that electric vehicles are already driving on taxpayer-funded roads virtually free of charge. This is incredibly expensive and benefits only a limited group of wealthy Americans.”

“Current electric vehicles subsidies equate to spending about $455 for every ton of CO2 that’s reduced.”

“Carbon capture and storage like the ExxonMobil project I mentioned earlier can apply to virtually every source of emissions and at a much lower cost. CO2 can be abated for $100 to $200 per ton. That’s less than half the price of an electric vehicle subsidy.”

“You can support all energy sectors, and innovation, and conservation. These are not mutually exclusive. One great example is a bill I introduced called the LEADING Act which was signed into law last year. This legislation incentivizes the research and development of carbon capture technology for natural gas and innovation in the energy industry at large. That’s how we can keep costs down for taxpayers and maintain this revolution in the energy sector. ”

“I’ll continue to push back on efforts to weaken our energy independence and harm our economy in pursuit of arbitrary goals. There’s simply no reason to stick taxpayers with the bill for these unnecessary policies when there are better commonsense ways to promote both innovation and conservation.”