By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Tuesday, October 13, US Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) wrote an opinion piece in USA Today, where he argued that the globe has not warmed in 18 years and that energy production restrictions will only hurt American workers and businesses and that nothing will be gained.
Sen. Sessions wrote, “For years, Americans have heard that the “time is now” to act on “climate change,” and in recent months — as President Obama pursues dramatic new carbon dioxide restrictions by fiat, and without the support of Congress — those warnings have become even louder. But a sober examination of facts suggests otherwise. Although the president has repeatedly claimed that global temperatures are increasing “faster than anybody anticipated,” this assertion is contradicted by plain fact. Climate models have predicted rapid temperature increases, but actual temperatures have been essentially flat for 18 years. We are approaching the 10th anniversary of the last major hurricane to reach landfall in the U.S., yet the Environmental Protection Agency continues to assert that climate change causes more storms.”
Sen. Sessions said that, “EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy is fond of saying that climate change “leads to more extreme heat, cold, storms, fires and floods,” as she did in August upon announcing job-destroying restrictions for American power plants. But, when asked to substantiate their claims, Ms. McCarthy and the EPA gave vague and non-responsive answers.” “Technological advancement — not painful government restrictions — will keep energy costs low, increase the standard of living for all and improve global health.”
Sessions said, “Our trade deficit is surging, and our ability to influence the world’s climate is limited. New emissions are coming from the developing world, which relies on traditional energy to pull its people out of poverty and despair. “Placing unrealistic restrictions on domestic energy production will wound our workers and make our businesses less competitive worldwide, while leaving our competitors unaffected.”
Senator Sessions is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee.
40 years ago experts predicted that we would run out of oil and natural gas and have to switch to more costly alternative energy sources. Things like soy diesel and ethanol were promoted as fossil fuel replacements. Solar and wind were promoted as alternative sources of electricity. Technological advances however gradually increased our estimates of the recoverable oil and gas reserves has increased exponentially. North America has gone from being dependent on foreign sources of oil to the world’s largest producer of oil and gas. With the discovery of new reserves, the ability to drill deeper in the ocean, to use fracking technology to recover more oil and gas, and to recover oil from vast reserves of oil sands the US has gone from being the largest importer or oil to an energy superpower with coal, natural gas, and oil reserves that will easily take us into the middle of the next century and beyond. This has created a perplexing issue: do we cash in on our enormous abundance or do we switch to less efficient energy resources for increasingly difficult to quantify gains in benefits to the environment……that would give countries more reliant on cheaper more reliable fossil fuels an enormous trade advantage over the United States?
Sen. Sessions was Alabama Attorney General before being elected to the US Senate after the retirement of Sen. Howell Heflin (D).