July 17, 2019
U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), senior member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, spoke on the Senate Floor in regards to the success of the environment under President Trump.
But what I want to talk about is something we need to talk about now, because it has not been called to the attention of the American people, and that about the great work that's being done in this administration to better our environment. Now, when you say that perhaps it could be argued that the Trump Administration may go down as one of the truly great environmental administrations—nobody will believe that.
Now, we have a White House dedicated to clean air, land, and water by cutting excessive, duplicative regulations. Based on what you see in the media, you'd think the president turned his back on the environment but it's been just the opposite. We're seeing significant progress in environmental protection that we have not seen in any other administration. Americans should know the truth about how this administration is leading the world in environmental gains all the while growing the economy.
People say we can't do that, that can't be done. You can't increase economic activity at the same time as making environmental gains, but that is actually happening. Now look at the chart we have behind me. There's a couple of facts that most Americans really don't know, they have no way of knowing until now. That since 1970 combined emissions of the six common pollutants. Now, we're talking about the recognized six common pollutants that are out there. It says that dropped, emissions dropped by 74 percent while the U.S. economy grew by 275 percent.
Is that possible, that that could happen? Well it did happen.
Because there it is, right there, all this economic activity, all this growth, and yet the bottom line there are the emissions. The aggregate emissions of the six common pollutants. There they are, going down.
It's because this administration knows what this administration is doing and has the commitment that other people are not aware of.
Now, look at C02. We had debates over the years about whether or not C02 is one of the pollutants, it's not one of the six common pollutants, but nonetheless, it's the one that people seem to be looking at.
Since 2005, the United States energy-related C02 emissions fell by 14 percent while global energy-related C02 emissions increased by over 20 percent.
Now, we are talking about all the emission increase and still we had a reduction. Despite this drop in emissions, in 2018, the United States became the world's leading producer of oil and natural gas and net exporter of oil and natural gas—fossil fuels—for the first time in 75 years. Now, I'm particularly proud of this. I'm from an oil state, the state of Oklahoma. I know how many jobs are tied to it, I know what's happening to our economy, and a lot of that can be contributed to using the proper energy sources that we have available to us.
Now, this administration has proven that we don't have to impose massive tax increases or irregulatory burdens in order to reduce pollution. We are reducing pollution, clearly.
The Democrats often say the United States is failing to properly reduce carbon emissions and this just isn't true.
Look at the chart number two. The reality is C02 emissions have been falling. If you look at the chart, in 2017, the United States led the world in C02 emission reductions while, notably China led emissions.
You have to look at this. The top line is the United States. That is reduction—we are leading the world in reductions of C02 emissions. The very bottom—China—that's the largest of the increases in emissions of C02.
Now, what a contrast that is. That defies everything else that you read about, and yet, there it is. That's the truth.
They talked about this great Paris Accord that this president wisely took us out of and what that did was it had these countries line up and they had India and China, who between the two of them, are responsible for one-half of all the emissions of C02. At that time, they are obligation was to continue doing what they are doing with coal-fire plants until 2025, then they will consider reducing their emissions. What kind of a commitment is that.
Meanwhile our president at that time was President Obama—and President Obama made commitments that could not be kept by our country and yet, stop and think. We don't need to do it, we are already doing it, with what we are doing right now with our emissions and people don't know that.
China and India represent almost half of all the global carbon emissions—we just don't hear this in the news. That's why we need to be talking about it. Another thing, I bet most people don't know, is that in the early 1970's, more than 40 percent of America's drinking water systems failed basic health standards, but today, 93 percent of the systems beat all health standards all of the time. In fact, the United States is ranked number one in the world for clean drinking water. And clearly this President’s environmental policies are working.
You would think environmentalists and Democrats would be praising our president given these undeniable successes, but instead they are pushing for the Green New Deal. We've all heard about the Green New Deal and what's it's going to be doing. It's a little $93 trillion program that is being promoted by a lot of the liberals around this environment here in Washington.
The authors of this Green New Deal spend four pages painting the scary and inaccurate picture of our environment. Then they spend the next nine pages outlining their socialist agenda aimed at ensuring the government dictates life in America from the car you drive to the energy that you consume. They talk about, in Green New Deal, eliminating air traffic. Well that's very nice. I don't know how people will get around.
They want to also eliminate beef. You know, I happen to be from a beef state and we like beef. But apparently these people think that things that cows do that make noise don't smell good — and so they want to eliminate beef.
They want to eliminate oil and gas altogether. You can't eliminate oil and gas. Right now we are dependent upon 80 percent of our energy that we use to enjoy life in America comes from oil and gas. And it's going to continue, we're not going to see it changing in the near future.
So, scientist like MIT's Richard Lindzen have been calling out climate alarmists for years on this conspiracy to control our lives. This flawed plan doesn't take into account that over 80 percent of the United States energy comes from fossil fuels - 80 percent. Now you eliminate fossils fuels—how do you run this machine called America? The answer is you can't.
Our nation runs on American coal, oil and gas and that isn't going to change anytime soon. We had a vote in the Senate on this radical Green New Deal plan but not a single Democrat was willing to vote for it. A lot of them voted present—they didn't want to get on record voting for it. That's what they are promoting over in the House. They know that their plan won't work and is extremely unpopular so they weren't going to join it. Anytime you don't want to vote for something or vote against something—what do you do? You vote present.
Well anyway, I didn't think the Democrats could be more radical than they were under the Obama Administration, but I was wrong. I at least give the Obama Administration credit for being honest about its radical war on fossil fuels. For eight years, President Obama targeted oil and gas producers in states like my state of Oklahoma. But, President Obama lost that fight and Oklahoma energy producers continue to create thousands of jobs to fuel this machine called America.
I think back to 1990. Because I was here in 1990. That's when we passed a lanark piece of legislation called the Clean Air Act. I cosponsored that Act and that succeeded in reducing acid rain, air pollution and harm to our ozone layer. It's gone down in history as one of the true great successes that happened in this country in terms of the environment and we're all a part of this. And we've been successful. Many of today’s Democrats are virtually unrecognizable compared to those back in 1990.
I urge my Democratic colleagues to reject radical, socialist environmental policies and come back to reality and support our President’s very effective approach.
I'm proud of President Trump and his administration's record on improving our nation’s environment while streamlining government overreach. It is possible to have a thriving economy while safe guarding our air and water.
And I would again ask you to go back and look at this—look at the chart—just look and see what we have done and where we are in spite of what you hear. We are the country, under this administration, that is going to go down and be recognized and one of truly great environmental administrations. And I'm very proud of that and I think it's time that people know it.