Key Senators React to Lieberman/Kerry Climate Bill

Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) released a comprehensive climate change bill today (American Power Act).  Some key Senate members have already offered their reaction.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – worked with Kerry/Lieberman on the bill but not a sponsor

“I have enjoyed working with Senators Kerry and Lieberman to create a new model for our nation in the areas of energy independence, job creation, and providing Americans with the cleanest air and purest water on the planet.


“I believe the broad concepts we came up with before are transformational and are the most consumer and business-friendly effort to date in dealing with carbon pollution.  Most importantly, they can serve as a framework in allowing America to lead in the creation of alternative energy jobs and significantly reducing our dependency on foreign oil. With these goals in mind, I am interested in carefully reviewing the details of the new proposal.


“I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to improve upon these concepts and find a pathway forward on energy independence, job creation, and a cleaner environment.  We should move forward in a reasoned, thoughtful manner and in a political climate which gives us the best chance at success.  The problems created by the historic oil spill in the Gulf, along with the uncertainty of immigration politics, have made it extremely difficult for transformational legislation in the area of energy and climate to garner bipartisan support at this time.”

Environment and Public Works Committee Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-OK)

"My first reaction to the Kerry-Lieberman bill is that it’s the same old cap-and-trade scheme that the Senate has defeated three times since 2003," Senator Inhofe said. "In fact, it has a strong resemblance to the disastrous Waxman-Markey bill.  Only now, along with paying skyrocketing electricity prices, consumers will pay a gas tax.

"The Kerry-Lieberman cap-and-trade proposal is just like Waxman-Markey in another key respect: it will destroy millions of good-paying jobs, many of which will be lost in regions, such as the Midwest, South, and Great Plains, which depend on coal for electricity. Given these facts, it’s no wonder that this massive energy tax is opposed by Republicans and Democrats alike, and that is has virtually no chance of passing the Senate."

"The sooner we reject global warming cap and trade legislation, and get to work on an all-of the-above energy policy, the sooner the American public will have access to affordable, abundant, American-made energy."

Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

“I appreciate the time and effort that Senators Kerry and Lieberman have put into crafting this discussion draft and will offer them and Majority Leader Reid my constructive comments and suggestions as I review it,” said Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), chairman of the Senate Energy Committee.

Bill Nelson (D-FL) – key opponent of offshore drilling expansion

“Florida’s vulnerable to rising sea levels, so we’ve got to do something about climate change.  We don’t, however, need to be drilling for oil right off of Florida’s beaches.  I’m glad the climate bill includes my proposal for a moratorium on any new drilling, until we know what happened aboard the Deepwater Horizon.  Also, they had their eye on expanding drilling into new areas of the Gulf of Mexico near Florida, and I told them to stay out of it.  And I’m glad they listened.  If you remember, we passed a law in 2006 that keeps drilling well offshore in the Gulf.  And the climate change bill doesn’t touch that.  But we still need to do something to protect the Atlantic coast.  We’ve got the Kennedy Space Center over there, and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, not to mention the tourism and beaches in South Florida – and none of that mixes with oil.”

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) – key proponent of protecting manufacturing interests

“We need an energy policy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil and addresses the serious threat of climate change. I applaud Senators Kerry and Lieberman for advancing this issue. Done right, a clean energy bill will also be a jobs bill.

“As the past few weeks have reminded us, our current course has real costs, whether in the Arabian Gulf or the Gulf of Mexico. Today’s proposal is an important step in replacing our dependence on foreign oil with clean energy sources produced in America. We must do more to ensure that it promotes the competitiveness of American manufacturers, and provides more assistance to the consumers, industries, and states that would be most affected by the bill. As energy legislation moves forward in the Senate, I plan on working on these issues and ensuring that Ohio manufacturers can build the clean energy products that can be sold around the world.”

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV)

“I applaud the efforts of Senators Kerry and Lieberman to develop a proposal that deserves careful consideration by all Senators and the public.  The recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico demonstrates the urgent need to free our nation from its heavy dependence on oil and to create new clean energy industries and technologies.

“All Americans would benefit from a comprehensive national energy plan that creates millions of clean energy jobs, improves our national security and reduces pollution. Already in Nevada, we have seen how critical investments in solar, geothermal and wind energy, as well as energy efficiency, creates reliable jobs that can never be outsourced and diversifies our state’s economy. 

“As I work with Senators Kerry and Lieberman, the relevant committee chairs and the White House to move this process forward, I welcome the ideas of my colleagues to strengthen this proposal.  To be successful we will need significant bipartisan cooperation, and I am hopeful Republicans will join us in working to further develop this bill so that it has broad support and can pass this year.”

All of the above statements were taken from press releases.

(credit image – eco green hotel)


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