As green economy legislation moves closer to a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, a number of members continue to express opposition to passing clean energy reform. Republicans and Democrats alike from states across the country are calling for the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) to be weakened or killed.
Rep. John Salazar (D-CO): “Depending on what comes out in the end, we might be able to support a bill. Right now, as it currently stands, I don’t think I could support it.”
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL): “Unfortunately, the reality is this cap and trade plan would slow economic growth, penalize employers, reduce job opportunities and ultimately increase taxes for every single American.”
Mike Pence (R-IN) and Fred Upton (R-MI): “In the midst of a deep recession, Democratic leaders want to impose higher fuel bills on all of us and relocate American jobs overseas in pursuit of an unproven environmental agenda.”
Bob Latta (R-OH): “We could lose manufacturing jobs left and right. It kind of looks like the Obama administration has declared war on Ohio and Indiana.”
Tim Holden (D-PA): “Absolutely not going to vote for it. Besides my concerns about agriculture, I’m from the coal regions of Pennsylvania. I have more cogeneration plants than anywhere else in the country. Even if all this is fixed for our agriculture concerns, I don’t see any way I could vote for it.”
Marsha Blackburn (R-TN): “You are addressing climate change as if it’s the Holy Grail. What we’re trying to help you with is constituents and taxpayers who are saying someone needs to put some roadblocks, some timelines and checks and balances in this legislation.”
The chairmen of coal-fired utilities Dominion Resources, American Electric Power, and Duke Energy, speaking on behalf of Rick Boucher (D-VA): “In particular, the proposed emission targets for 2020 are too aggressive and outpace expected technologies, and the time of transition to a full auction of allowances should be extended. Boucher agrees that these two elements will greatly control costs without sacrificing environmental gains.”
Fortunately for these representatives from Colorado, Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia, the Environmental Defense Fund has assembled fact sheets on the threat of climate change and the opportunity for clean energy jobs in their states. The EDF fact sheets compile a wide array of resources:
— The EDF Less Carbon, More Jobs national map of clean-energy businesses
— The Pew Charitable Trusts Clean Energy Economy report on clean energy job creation in all fifty states
EDF plans to add more states to its site. One has to hope Congress is paying attention.