Carper Statement on GAO’s Report Highlighting Costs of Climate Change

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, released the following statement in response to the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) report highlighting the annual multi-billion dollar costs of climate change.

“Just the other week, President Trump lamented that Puerto Rico has ‘thrown our budget out of whack’ for this fiscal year. Instead of assigning blame to our fellow Americans while they’re in crisis, President Trump should read GAO’s report. The GAO is our nation’s umpire, calling balls and strikes on good and bad investments. This report is clear: ignoring the already devastating and growing threat of climate change is not only dangerous, but it’s also a bad investment. President Trump should put politics aside, take a lesson from Businessman Trump and see the serious threat climate change poses to our nation’s bottom line.

“Instead, this administration has done everything in its power to undermine our climate resiliency efforts, putting countless lives in danger and costing taxpayers billions of dollars in an effort to score political victories against ‘climate change.’ This is far from the leadership needed to tackle the greatest environmental challenge of our time and address a real, current threat to the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans.

“This report highlights some of the reasons why GAO continues to list climate change as one of our nation’s greatest financial risks in its biennial High Risk List. This administration is backtracking from climate protections and turning a deaf ear to concerns from leading climate scientists, businesses and agencies, like GAO, and I worry it is putting our nation on a path toward climate and financial ruin. Many of my Republican colleagues in Congress are self-proclaimed ‘fiscal hawks’ who were elected on the promise of getting our nation’s debt under control. As a recovering governor interested in ensuring that we are good stewards of taxpayer dollars, I can appreciate that. But my colleagues on the other side need to walk the walk now. If they are serious about eliminating deficits and reducing financial burdens on lower and middle-income Americans, I urge them to work across the aisle to address the multi-billion dollar threat of climate change.”

Climate change has also been listed on the GAO’s biennial High Risk List for the federal government’s top financial risks since 2013.