WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA) delivered a pivotal speech on the U.S. Senate floor laying out a new vision for Republicans to engage on climate policy while protecting U.S. energy security. Cassidy highlighted China as the largest threat to rising global emissions and explained how the United States must approach this challenge by understanding the nexus of national security, energy security, climate policy, and economic policy.
“This talk will be about that nexus: energy security, national security, global greenhouse gas emissions—how do we decrease them—and the economy of our country and the economy of a family,” said Dr. Cassidy.
Cassidy renewed his call for a carbon border adjustment, a tariff on foreign goods—like Chinese steel—that are produced with a higher emitting process compared to cleaner American production. A carbon border adjustment would prevent adversaries like China from increasing their emissions to produce goods more cheaply and undercut U.S. manufacturers. It would also bring jobs back to the U.S. and protect American workers.
“Let’s make a strength of our environmental regulations,” said Dr. Cassidy. “And let’s make others pay for their ignoring those same regulations. And in so doing, we begin to attract jobs back here for Americans.”
“It will be cheaper to produce here after all if China is forced to pay for the pollution they’re putting into the atmosphere,” said Dr. Cassidy.
“[It] creates more jobs. That’s good for Americans, good for our economy,” continued Dr. Cassidy. “It strengthens us relative to the Chinese who are using their profits to build a bigger army.”
Cassidy also condemned President Biden’s decision to drain the National Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower gas prices with no plan to refill it.
“Rather than increasing production on federal lands, the president made the decision to just draw from our strategic petroleum reserve. Unfortunately, we are now at the lowest level of reserves since 1984,” said Dr. Cassidy. “The president needs a plan to refill that from domestically produced oil. Period, end of story.”
Cassidy proposed refilling the depleted National Strategic Petroleum Reserve with Louisiana oil, but cited the Biden administration’s decision to cancel oil and gas lease sales as another barrier to energy security.
“This administration has the fewest leases on record. And Obama and Trump had 10 times as much in the same period,” said Dr. Cassidy. “This is hurting our energy security, which means it hurts our national security, which means it is going to hurt the economy of a country and the economy of a family—and my gosh, ask what they are paying for their utility bill, what they’re paying to fill up their tank.”
Click here to watch Cassidy’s full speech.