House Committee on Oversight and Reform Ranking Member James Comer (R-Ky.) opened this week’s markup by slamming Committee Democrats for prioritizing a bill to create more bureaucracy and emphasized the American people are more concerned with skyrocketing inflation, broken supply chains, soaring energy prices, and an out-of-control border crisis.
 
In his opening statement, Ranking Member Comer stated the Democrats’ Federal Agency Climate PREP Act is nothing more than staged political drama and is a weak attempt to shoehorn climate change into this Committee’s legislative jurisdiction. In addition, Ranking Member Comer noted the United States has made substantial progress in reducing carbon emissions and stressed the importance of holding China accountable for making zero efforts to reduce emissions. He concluded by stating the bill merely creates unnecessary bureaucracy and forces woke environmental justice ideology on hard-working Americans.

Below are his remarks as prepared: 

Thank you, Chairwoman Maloney.

Today’s markup of the Federal Agency Climate PREP Act is act three of the staged political drama that began with last week’s hearing with oil and gas executives. 

A hearing in which Democrats ranted about a supposed misinformation campaign by the oil and gas industry actually turned into a misinformation campaign manufactured by Democrats. 

Act 2 included pre-planned subpoenas to the oil and gas witnesses, justified by the sham charges of failing to comply with overly broad document requests. 

The majority wanted the spectacle of subpoenas.
Committee Democrats’ tipped their hand about their intent to issue subpoenas before they sent a single document request – and months before a hearing occurred. 

Still, these companies appeared voluntarily to testify.
And they still produced nearly 200,000 documents and counting.  
But the subpoenas were preordained.

My Democrat colleagues want to be able to tell the most radical elements of their base – and their friends at the trial bar – they are following the Big Tobacco playbook. As I wrote to you earlier this week, the Committee should have debated whether to take this step and held a vote. 

There are serious concerns with the path you are going down – subpoenaing documents and communications protected by the First Amendment. 

You should reconsider this path.

This effort to vilify an industry that provides good paying jobs to thousands of workers for political gain is a distraction from the issues Americans care about and rely upon us to investigate. 

Americans care about the rampant inflation ignited by the Biden Administration’s policies.Americans care about parents being labeled potential “domestic terrorists” if they speak up on behalf of their children and beliefs.

Americans care about broken supply chains and soaring gas prices. 
Even President Biden cares about that – he asked the oil companies how to fix the problem. Your solution – to cut production – makes no sense at all. 
Americans care about wave after wave of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border without being screened for homeland security risks.

They care that many Americans are being forced to comply with vaccine mandates while unvaccinated illegal immigrants are free to pour across our southern border.

Americans are outraged that the Administration is proposing to pay some illegal immigrants $450,000 a person in taxpayer dollars.

Madame Chairwoman, this is just the start of the list of issues that are more important to our constituents than the bill before us today, Act 3 of the Democrats’ staged enviro-drama.

This bill only creates more federal bureaucracy.

This bill is nothing but a weak attempt to shoehorn the climate change issue into this Committee’s legislative jurisdiction.

The White House and existing agencies already have the authority and agency infrastructure to do everything the bill contemplates without the legislation’s needless and costly new bureaucratic superstructure.
This is over-legislating, plain and simple.

Madame Chairwoman, an NBC News poll released this past Sunday shows that 71 percent of Americans think our country is headed in the wrong direction.

Why are we not holding oversight hearings about all the reasons why—so we can help generate ideas to turn the country back in the right direction.
One thing that is moving in the right direction is the amount of carbon emissions from the United States.
They are going down. 

Yet, all the while, China and other countries just increase their emissions, pumping more and more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere—emissions about which this bill seeks to do nothing.

Madame Chairwoman, I cannot support a bill that creates unnecessary bureaucracy and forces woke environmental justice ideology on hard-working Americans.

And meanwhile, our adversaries like China take zero responsibility and make zero efforts to address climate change.

I urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and I yield back.

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