My state is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It is also one of America’s biggest “all of the above” energy producers. In Wyoming, we’ve figured out how to balance a healthy environment with a healthy economy. It’s too bad the Obama administration won’t follow our lead.
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Once again, President Obama is pushing an extreme agenda of burdensome regulations that will put more Americans out of work. Instead of making the environment better, the president’s strategy will make the climate for unemployed Americans worse. We’ve already seen how heavy-handed regulations are forcing power plants to fire their workers and close their doors.
In April alone, more than 800,000 Americans gave up looking for work. We now have the lowest labor force participation rate since the Carter administration. President Obama should not roll out more red tape that will make it even harder for people to find work.
To make matters worse, his regulations would have no effect on global temperatures. The U.S. share of the world’s carbon dioxideemissions had been declining for nearly a decade before President Obama took office. Meanwhile, China’s emissions grew by 173% from 1998 to 2011. Unless developing countries also act, the president’s policies would hurt our competitiveness while yielding few environmental benefits.
In 2009, the American people made it clear that they didn’t support the president’s plan for more extreme regulations. Democrats held 60 seats in the Senate, but the administration could not pass its climate agenda. People understand how damaging a national energy tax would be for jobs and our economy.
It’s time for President Obama and his administration to support a better, more balanced way forward.
A group of Republican Senate and House members released our own report this week that shows exactly how Western states are leading the way on environmental stewardship without damaging America’s economic future.
The president should work with Congress on legislation to help us make energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can — without putting more Americans in the unemployment line.
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
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