Administration Celebrates Climate Speech Anniversary as Economy Stumbles


Whitfield: “What About the Economic Climate? That Should Be Priority Number One.”

President Obama and members of his cabinet are busy today celebrating the one-year anniversary of the president’s climate speech with a series of hyped media events around the country. But in other news, the president’s Commerce Department released numbers today showing that U.S. economic performance over the first quarter was at its worst level in five years: 

  • The Wall Street Journal reports, “The U.S. economy contracted at a worse pace than previously estimated in the first quarter, marking its sharpest pullback since the recession ended five years ago.”
  • USA Today says, “The decline was the sharpest since growth tumbled 5.4% in the first quarter of 2009 during the Great Recession. It was also one of the worst falloffs outside of a recession since 1960.”
  • And a Washington Post blog exclaims, “Holy guacamoleIt just keeps getting worse. The government released its third estimate of economic activity during the first quarter, and it surpassed our wildest expectations — in all the wrong ways. The Bureau of Economic Analysis said Wednesday morning that the economy actually shrank at an annualized rate of 2.9 percent over the winter, the worst reading since the recession.” 

This disappointing news gives the American people little to celebrate, especially as the president’s self-acclaimed Climate Action Plan threatens to put further strain on economic growth and unravel our recovery. Since President Obama’s big climate plan unveiling last June, the administration has proposed a suite of costly new regulations that will raise energy prices, threaten jobs, and undermine America’s global competitiveness. The president also declared one year ago that the Keystone XL pipeline and its 42,000 jobs would have to pass a so-called “climate test,” which it did with flying colors. And yet, after nearly six years and under a cloud of terrible economic news, the president still refuses to say “yes” to jobs and affordable energy.

The president is celebrating a plan that is all pain and no gain. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy testified last year before the Energy and Power Subcommittee that that her agency does not measure whether its regulations and the billions of dollars spent by the administration will actually affect the global climate, it is simply part of an “overall strategy” to demonstrate global leadership.   

Energy and Power Subcommittee Chairman Ed Whitfield (R-KY) expressed, “Either the president has taken his eye off the ball, or he doesn’t care about creating jobs and growing our economy. As he is off celebrating a meaningless anniversary of a speech, the American people are suffering the consequences of his failed policies. And today’s climate media blitz is just a distraction from our real problems. What about the economic climate? That should be priority number one. Over the past year, the administration has been spending billions of dollars on its climate agenda and ramming through new regulations to restrict access to reliable and affordable energy. These destructive actions will have no meaningful impact on the future climate, but real impacts on the daily lives of Americans. With our anemic economy, the president’s plan for higher energy prices is the last thing America needs.”

House Republicans have a different plan, one that takes full advantage of America’s energy resources to create jobs, lower prices, and boost economic growth. This week the House is taking action on a series of bills to unleash the benefits of America’s energy abundance. Join the conversation as we say yes to American energy and jobs with #Yes2Energy.