Opening Statement by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch
Before the
Joint House/Senate Western Caucus Hearing on
Cap and Trade: Impacts on Jobs in the West, and the Nation
July 30, 2009

I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Congressman Rob Bishop and Senator John Barasso for taking the lead in putting together this hearing today. I especially want to thank our distinguished witnesses who have taken the time and effort to come and help shed some light on how cap-and-trade legislation will affect us in the West.

It is no exaggeration to say that the West should be wary of cap and trade. The West has reported the nation’s largest regional jobless rate, while at the same time Congress is considering mandatory carbon reductions that are a direct attack on our most abundant source of affordable energy. The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association estimates that my state of Utah will be the hardest hit by a cap-and-trades scheme, raising our power rates by a whopping 70 percent.

So what is the benefit that we can expect to enjoy for all this pain? According to the U.N.’s own science, we can expect the climate to drop a full .07 degrees for America’s share of carbon reductions. How in the world can we be expected to slog through the economic misery of cap and trade for a benefit that will not even register on an average thermometer? Well, we’re told that we must lead the way so that developing nations such as India and China will follow our lead. With our combined efforts, we are told, we may adjust the climate by more. That is extraordinarily troubling logic for those of us who have America’s interest in mind, especially in light of two recent news articles that I have in front of me. One is dated June 11, 2009, with the headline: “China Says No to Greenhouse Gas Cuts.” Another is from Bloomberg, dated June 30, with the headline: “India Rejects Any Greenhouse-Gas Cuts under New Climate Treaty.”

These two articles alone are more evidence than any member of Congress should need to oppose cap-and-trade legislation with all his or her might. And that is what I intend to do. Thank you.