While India & China Pollute, Senate Votes to Send Jobs Overseas
May 16th, 2008 - Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) made the following statement after offering a motion to instruct conferees of budget resolution to prevent Congress from passing any law with new mandates on greenhouse gas emissions that would harm the U.S. economy or result in a loss of U.S. jobs unless both China and India enact similar mandates. The measure failed last night on a vote of 34-61.
"It's shameful that 61 senators voted to send American jobs to China and India and devastate our economy," said Senator DeMint. "We all want to work to reduce greenhouse gases, but if China and India do not join us in working towards the same goal, our efforts will be futile. It makes no sense to severely handicap our economy for no lasting results. If Congress enacts a mandate on greenhouse gas emissions, many energy-intensive industries will relocate to China and India where energy is significantly cheaper and have no mandates on emissions."
"Democrats believe we must cripple our economy to help our environment, but the truth is we must have a strong economy to protect our environment," said Senator DeMint. "We can create thousands of jobs and drastically reduce greenhouse gases if we invest in clean, efficient nuclear technology. And American ingenuity will find ways to create new alternative fuels and innovative energy technology if Washington stops picking winners and losers like the ethanol disaster."
Senator DeMint opposes the Boxer motion to instruct that exports American jobs and then imposes a carbon tariff on the goods coming back in to the U.S. "Senator Boxer first punishes American workers then she punishes American consumers," said Senator DeMint. "Under her motion, an American manufacturing plant could move to China or India, which pollute even more, avoid American carbon rules, then would continue to export around the world and pay no fees. The only people who would pay the carbon tariff would be the American people whose jobs were exported." Senator Boxer's measure was agreed to 54-41.
One recent study at the University of California found that China passed the United States in carbon emissions in 2006, and is now the largest pollution-producing country in the world.
According to a World Bank study, China has nearly doubled and India has tripled their CO2 emissions from 1980 to 2004, while United States emissions in that same time period, only increased by 25%.
"This emissions scheme would export America's manufacturing jobs to China and India, and completely undermine the very efforts to reduce emissions. Playing musical chairs with American jobs is not in the best interests of the American economy or the environment. In order to truly address greenhouse gas emissions, it is imperative that both China and India join us in our effort. I urge my colleagues to support this motion."