Portman Statement on Green New Deal Vote

March 26, 2019 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-OH) released the following statement after a vote on the motion to proceed to the Green New Deal resolution failed:

“I support addressing climate change but we must do so by working together on common-sense solutions that don’t jeopardize jobs and our economy. During my career in the House and Senate, I have a long history of working on this issue in a bipartisan way and that will continue to be my approach.

“For example, I have worked with Senator Shaheen on bipartisan energy efficiency legislation for the last few Congresses that, if enacted, will result in the equivalent of taking 22 million cars off the road.  We intend to reintroduce this legislation in the coming weeks.  My bipartisan Tropical Forest Conservation Act reauthorization bill, which was signed into law by President Trump in early 2019, has saved more than 67 million acres of tropical forest from deforestation, which has helped sequester 56 million metric tons of carbon dioxide that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere.  This is the equivalent of taking 11.8 million cars off the road. I first created the program in 1998, and President Clinton signed it into law. I have also worked on carbon capture legislation as well as mitigation efforts such as authorizing a Great Lakes basin-wide coastal resiliency study that was included in America’s Water Infrastructure Act last year. These are common-sense solutions that have led to a reduction in emissions without hurting our economy and jobs.

“The Green New Deal is a laundry list of irresponsible promises with a sky-high price tag. According to a study by Douglas Holtz-Eakin at the American Action Forum, the proposed policies in the Green New Deal could cost between $51 trillion and $93 trillion over the next 10 years when added up together.  That is not sustainable.  Among other proposals, the Green New Deal proposes to achieve net zero greenhouse gas emissions in 10 years. With Ohio getting 58 percent of electricity from coal and 24 percent from natural gas in 2017, the state would have to replace at least 82 percent of its electricity generation within 10 years. That is not only unrealistic, it’s not a viable strategy to ensure families in Ohio have access to reliable and affordable electricity.

“In order to truly make progress in addressing climate change we must work together.  I will continue working on sensible, bipartisan efforts to promote conservation, reduce emissions, and strengthen our economy.”