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McConnell: Bipartisan Energy Legislation Will Create Better Policy and Regulatory Conditions for American Workers

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Chairman Murkowski’s bipartisan energy legislation:

‘In the meantime, the Senate will continue considering an important package of comprehensive energy legislation. For the first time in more than a decade, we’re looking at a thorough update to the laws governing innovation, security, and workforce development across the American energy sector.

‘As Chairman Murkowski has noted, twelve years is a long time. The demands we face in researching, producing, refining, storing, and protecting our abundant domestic energy has evolved a great deal since 2007.

‘So it is high time for relevant federal policy to evolve, as well. I’m grateful that the Chairman was willing to take on this important task. And I’m glad that she and Senator Manchin led our colleagues on the Energy and Natural Resource Committee through an overwhelmingly bipartisan process to produce this bill.

‘As I mentioned yesterday, the legislation aggregates 50 individual bills. It contains input from more than 60 senators. It covers an exhaustive range of energy-related challenges: from power storage and renewable technologies to carbon capture and electrical grid cybersecurity. 

‘It has earned the support of a similarly broad range of industry, advocacy, and research organizations. In one joint letter, the Bipartisan Policy Center, the American Nuclear Society, the Nature Conservancy, and 36 other signatories endorsed it as, quote, “the culmination of extensive efforts… to develop practical legislative solutions.” That’s the American Nuclear Society and the Nature Conservancy. That ought to tell you what you need to know about this bill.

‘This is bipartisan legislation done right. This is how you take practical steps and build consensus on issues that affect every American and every state.

‘Around this time last year, you will recall, we saw a high-profile example of exactly what not to do. The far-left edge of the House Democratic caucus rolled out a massive scheme to forcibly remake much of our economy and our society according to their radical top-down designs. 

‘We all remember the Green New Deal.

‘Categorical bans on the most affordable forms of American energy. A dim future for millions of energy jobs. Unprecedented Washington D.C. mandates on every subject from building codes to personal transportation.

‘And we all remember what happened next. This socialist fantasy did not stay confined to the ideological fringe. It quickly grew into a broader rallying cry.

‘When the Senate had the opportunity to vote on this wish-list of central planning, only four of our Democratic colleagues could bring themselves to vote against it.

‘Well, that is quite a remarkable commentary on the state of our politics. 

‘Experts estimated the Green New Deal could have cost our government more than the GDP of the entire world. Instead, this bipartisan legislation will let us direct responsible and targeted investment, in a smart way, toward key energy priorities.

‘The Green New Deal sought to have Washington D.C. micromanage everyday life in this country to a degree that the 20th-century socialists would have drooled over. Instead, this bipartisan legislation will create better policy and regulatory conditions for American workers, American innovators, and American job creators to thrive.

‘Speaking as the senior senator from Kentucky, I know firsthand that many Americans in the middle of the country suffered badly during the Obama era because Washington bureaucrats decided American energy had to fit their ideological designs.

‘The last thing we want is to move backward and expand those errors exponentially with radical left-wing experiments that would make the last administration’s War on Coal look like child’s play.

‘What Kentuckians and all Americans deserve is for their federal government to make prosperity and domestic energy dominance easier, not harder. They deserve investment and support to help the communities that have fueled this country for generations prosper once again.

‘And that is what this bipartisan bill will actually deliver.

‘I am proud to support this smart legislation. Clearly, I’m not alone, since only three of 100 senators voted against advancing the bill earlier this week.

‘So I urge all of our colleagues to keep up their support and see this package through to the finish line.’

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