Washington – Congresswoman Liz Cheney questioned witnesses at a Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources hearing titled “Climate Change: Preparing for Energy Transition” on what form of transportation they used to arrive to testify and if they support the Democrats’ “Green New Deal.”

CONGRESSWOMAN LIZ CHENEY: I appreciate very much the opportunity today to discuss this issues today of how we transition our communities to a so-called green economy. My state of Wyoming as I’m sure my witnesses know is the nation’s largest coal producing state. We also know in Wyoming that coal is going to continue to be a crucially important source of base-load power for the nation. The reliability is simply something that can not be replaced and that it’s a national security issue, in addition to an economic issue. My constituents are obviously very concerned about this notion that we are somehow going to transition over the course of 10 years here to an economy that is entirely run on green energy and certainly, they have concerns about the fossil fuel aspect of that. I have to say one of the issues that people are particular concerned about is extent to which we are no longer going to have air travel, apparently, according to some of the frequently asked question answers we have scene. So I would like to start by asking each witness by telling me exactly how they arrived in Washington D.C. for this hearing. It’s just a one word answer. I’ll start with you Mrs. Farley.

CHANDRA FARLEY: Airplane

SARAH SHRADER: Airplane

BILL BISSETT: A big white pick-up truck

PETER HILLE: I drove

BRANDON DENNISON: Plane

JOSEPH MASON: Air and metro

CHENEY: Well thank you very much and so I’d like to ask, I would assume each of the witnesses who believe that we should in fact move toward net zero emissions would say that we ought to do so gradually, not suddenly, and so I would ask, and again I’ll start with you Ms. Farley, if you could describe for me perhaps exactly how we’re going to do that gradually. I would assume we’re not just going to wait ten years and then all the sudden tell people all the sudden they can’t fly, but that we’ll be in a situation where over the course of ten years we would somehow gradually work our way out of air travel. And I would also have to guess that would involve some sort of prioritization. So I assume even my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who support the Green New Deal, and perhaps the witnesses who support the Green New Deal, wouldn’t advocate for example that we cancel things like life flights. They wouldn’t advocate that we immediately move away from being able to transport people who have life threatening illnesses by plane, but that there would be some other prioritization there. So, Ms. Farley could you tell me exactly how the government should prioritize air travel and the gradual move away from all air travel.

FARLEY: I would depend on the FAA and the other federal agencies that focus on air travel to tackle that question. The Green New Deal is a sweeping collection of recommendations and policies –

CHENEY: Thank you very much Ms. Farley. So the FAA then I would assume, I guess we’re going to set up a situation where the FAA then can tell individual citizens which of their air travel is worthy and important and what isn’t. It would seem to me I guess we would then have a situation where the FAA could say for example, you know what, vacation travel – that’s not essential. We have to make sure that we can do the air travel for the people that really need it, so no vacation travel. Would you say that we’re going to have some sort of a vacation commissar set up in the government to determine what kind of air travel makes sense and what kin doesn’t? Ms. Shrader maybe I’ll go to you on that kind of question

SHRADER: With all due respect, I came here to talk about my community and how we have transitioned –

CHENEY: You don’t support the Green New Deal then?

SHRADER: … fascinated by the um –

CHENEY: So Ms. Shrader thank you, you don’t support the Green New Deal?

SHRADER: I’m not an expert on the Green New Deal.

HUFFMAN: But generally you know for a correction on how she’s badly mischaracterized as the resolution on the Green New Deal –

CHENEY: Mr. Huffman, Mr. Huffman-

HUFFMAN: This is fiction, this entire line of question is fiction –

CHENEY: You know what I won’t yield, Mr. Huffman, you had plenty of time, Mr. Huffman. I’d like to have my time restored Mr. Chairman. So then let me ask you then, are there any other witnesses on the panel who do support the Green New Deal? Nobody supports the Green New Deal on this panel? Interesting. I support many of the policies and recommendations on the Green New Deal, specifically the support to make sure that any climate solution strategy is centered in equity –

CHENEY: Thank you very much Ms. Farley. I appreciate that. Reclaiming my time I would just say that it’s going to be crucially important for us to recognize and understand when we outlaw plane travel, we outlaw gasoline, we outlaw cars, I think actually probably the entire US military because of the Green New Deal that we are able to explain to our constituents and to people all across this country what that really means. And even when it comes down to something like air travel, which the FAQ’s say they want to eliminate within the next ten years, that means the government is going to be telling people where they can fly to and where they can’t. And I would assume I guess that means our colleagues form California are going to be riding their bicycles back home to their constituents. Thank you very much I yield back.

Background:

The Natural Resources Committee invited the following witnesses to testify before the Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources during a hearing titled, “Climate Change: Preparing for the Energy Transition”:

  • Ms. Chandra Farley Director, Just Energy; Partnership for Southern Equity from Atlanta, Georgia
  • Ms. Sarah Shrader Owner and Co-Founder, Bonsai Design Grand Junction, from Colorado
  • Bill Bissett (Republican witness) President and CEO, Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce from Huntington, WV
  • Peter Hille President, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development from Berea, KY
  • Mr. Brandon Dennison Founder and CEO, Coalfield Development Corporation from Wayne, West Virginia
  • Dr. Joseph Mason (Republican witness) Professor, Department of Finance Louisiana State University and University of Pennsylvania