Friday, June 13, 2008

Letter from Senator Bob

I recently wrote Bob Corker urging action on the CO2 cap and trade Bill in the Senate. There was a broad coalition of Corporate and Environmental organizations supporting the bill...Republicans killed it.

Corker sends a letter back that does get one thing right...It's about MONEY. Well that's fine except for one thing...We have no time to waste. Every minute puts us further behind in lessening the devastating effects of global warming.

But here's what his reply said:

Dear Mr. Scarborough,

Thank you for taking the time to contact my office to share your concerns about S.3036, the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act. Your input is important to me, and I appreciate the time you took to share your thoughts.

Climate change and cap-and-trade will be significant issues facing Congress for some time to come, and I have spent my first 17 months in office delving into the complexity of the policy. Last May 2007, I traveled to Europe with Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) to meet with European Union officials, carbon traders, representatives from the utility industry, and cement manufacturers. Last July, I went to Greenland with Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) to view the effects of climate change.

I agree with you regarding the necessity of addressing climate change, and am open to a form of cap-and-trade as a tool to do so. My goal is to help craft a bill that addresses climate security and energy security in a balanced way, but unfortunately after studying this legislation I do not believe that this bill achieved those objectives. I regret that instead of being about climate security, and instead of being about something that really drives us toward using technologies that would cause our country to be energy secure, this bill in fact ended up being about money. This bill would have doled out trillions of dollars to various industries and organizations and forced hard-working Americans to pay more for gasoline, more for electricity, more for food, and more for everything they buy. Therefore, as you may know, I voted against ending debate on the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act.

In an effort to get more money returned directly to the pockets of the American people who would bear the brunt of the costs associated with cap-and-trade, I introduced two amendments to S. 3036. Specifically, the amendments would have (1) provided direct relief to American consumers bearing the brunt of the cap-and-trade program's costs; (2) increased direct reimbursement to the American people by eliminating free allowances-worth over a TRILLION dollars-to entities that have nothing to do with reducing carbon emissions; and (3) eliminated the use of international offsets to meet emissions reductions.

While it is unlikely the Senate will return to climate change legislation this year, It is my hope that in the future we will have constructive debate and come together around legislation that focuses on climate security and broadly advances our country's need for energy security in a way that ensures a higher standard of living for those generations that come after us.

I appreciate your concerns regarding the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Bill, and the insight you have give here will certainly help me and my staff look more effectively into this issue. I plan to remain an active participant in this debate, and I look forward to working in a constructive and bipartisan way with my colleagues to develop legislation that will cause our country to be energy secure while at the same time improving our environment.

Thank you again for your letter. I hope you will continue to share your thoughts with me.


Bob Corker
United States Senator

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