October 17, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 164 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
S.J. RES. 53; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 164
(Senate - October 17, 2019)
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[Page S5856] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] S.J. RES. 53 Mr. McCONNELL. Madam President, on one final matter, this week, I have been discussing how Washington Democrats have sought for 3 years to effectively nullify the Trump Presidency. They have tried to cancel out the voters' decision in 2016 and dodge the consequences of Secretary Clinton's defeat whether it be through the 3-year-old impeachment parade that the House Democrats have been leading or through the unprecedented delays and obstruction that has been visited on the President's nominations here in the Senate. Well, our Democratic colleagues will today mount yet another effort to fire up the time machine. They want to move forward with legislation that would undo a major regulatory reform success story of the Trump administration's and reopen the Obama administration's disastrous War on Coal. Specifically, they want to try and revive the so-called Clean Power Plan, which is a dangerous, misguided policy that the Trump administration has rightly done away with. We will be voting on this resolution later today. The basic facts haven't changed since this job-killing scheme was first put forward back in 2014. This relic of the Obama administration would have further buried the producers of affordable American energy under a mountain of stifling redtape. It would have created overlapping local, State, and Federal standards, unrealistic compliance deadlines, and would have set up a Washington bureaucracy that would effectively root for American energy to fail. It is no wonder, by one analysis, that 125,000 jobs would have been on the chopping block had President Obama gotten his way. The workers in my State know better than anyone the true costs of the last administration's misguided War on Coal. Kentucky workers know what happens when plants that create jobs and generate affordable electricity at the same time are simply shut down. That is why I have been proud to lead the fight in ending the regulatory War on Coal. It is why I wrote every Governor in the country in 2015 and raised my concerns about the Obama administration's dangerous Clean Power Plan scheme, because, even today, nearly 3 years into an administration that is not at war with American energy, Kentucky miners continue to feel the effects of the previous administration's policies. We also know that the full effects of the Clean Power Plan would have stretched far beyond coal country. The ripples of this harmful proposal would have been felt across the country by Americans in paying their power bills. One independent report predicted that consumers in 40 States, including Kentucky, would have seen double-digit percentage increases in their electricity costs, and by the Obama officials' own admissions, the proposal would have hit low-income and minority communities the hardest. Let me say that again: Low-income and minority populations would have been hit the hardest by the double-digit electricity bill increases in four out of every five States. That is quite a rap sheet for a Federal policy. In a nation in which carbon emissions have already been trending downward, this proposal would have sold off our economic edge to overseas competitors whose emissions are, actually, steadily climbing. It would have taken the legs out from under American job creators while some of the world's leading polluters would have continued to roar right past us. It would have literally shipped our economic competitiveness to places like China and India. Here is how experts estimated the effect of all of this self- inflicted economic damage on the climate: a one one-hundredth-of-1- degree difference by 2050. Here is the impact estimated to have happened if it had gone forward--a one one-hundredth-of-1-degree difference by 2050. Think how deeply you would have to be in the grip of leftwing ideology for that trade-off to sound like a good deal for American families. Today's effort to revive this bad policy is being pushed by the same Senate Democrats who, overwhelmingly, could not bring themselves to vote against something as absurd as the Green New Deal back in March. Unfortunately, we know there is a considerable appetite among Democrats to inflict huge economic harm on American workers and American families just so we can better comply with this new green religion. But here is the good news for my constituents in Kentucky and for hard-working Americans across the Nation: Senate Republicans are on the case, and we will not let far-left fashions take precedence over the common good of our country. The American people have elected an administration and a Senate majority that trusts workers and job creators, not Washington bureaucracies. We have spent years cleaning up the mess of overregulation that the Obama era has left behind, and we will continue to stop the Democrats from reenacting that damaging history. So I would urge all of my colleagues to join with us today and oppose these efforts to nullify a Presidency and take us backward. Let's vote to keep this ill-conceived, leftwing policy on the shelf, where it belongs. ____________________