Washington, D.C., - U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., ranking Republican on the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, thanked House Republican Leader John Boehner for his reappointment as ranking Republican and said he welcomes the opportunity to strengthen the congressional record on important energy and climate issues.
Sensenbrenner issued the following statement today about the select committee’s agenda in the 111th Congress:“Despite having more than 50 hearings in the last Congress, we still don’t know how some legislative proposals to address global warming will truly affect the American economy.
“Several members of Congress have proposed a carbon trading system that I call cap-and-tax because of the burdens it will put on both taxpayers and consumers. I believe the select committee should take a harder look at the economic consequences of this costly proposal, as well as thoroughly examine any other proposals to ensure they can help the environment without hurting the economy.“There were many topics that weren’t fully addressed by the select committee during the previous Congress. The select committee does not have jurisdiction to pass legislation, but it can and should take a strong role in conducting oversight of the incoming administration’s energy and climate policies.“International negotiations will be an important issue this year, and the select committee should keep a close eye on these talks as they progress. As the only member of the House of Representatives to travel to Poznan, Poland this past December to observe the United Nations climate treaty discussions, I was reminded that China, India and other developing nations aren’t willing to make the same mandatory slashes in emissions that we are talking about here. This is not a fair deal, and we need a new negotiating strategy.“The select committee should also further explore why important technology hasn’t developed faster, examine how to strengthen the American workforce and its competitiveness, consider the costs and benefits of adaptive strategies and assess what remains uncertain or unknown in the scientific debate.“Furthermore, any legislation considered by Congress must meet four basic principles: (1) Include international participation. (2) Protect jobs and the economy. (3) Advance technological development. (4) Produce tangible environmental improvement.“Free market forces, not government regulations, should be the foundation behind any climate or energy policy. With its oversight powers, the select committee can help educate members of Congress about the important policies they will be considering.”