Senate Watch, Republican Response To Kerry-Boxer: Alexander, Barrasso, Bond, Hutchison, Inhofe, Johanns, McCain, Murkowski, Roberts, Thune, Voinovich, Wicker

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 01 Oct 2009 21:21:00 GMT

Senate Republicans, even those who have supported climate legislation in the past or who claim to recognize the threat of climate change, have nearly universally condemned the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs Act. Only George Voinovich (R-Ohio) sounded a moderately conciliatory note:

George Voinovich (R-Ohio)

Columbus Dispatch Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio, who is on the environment committee, said he will review the bill introduced by the two Democrats but sounded a skeptical note as he said that “the devil is in the details. Climate change must be addressed in a bipartisan way—it must incentivize the clean-energy technologies we need now and in the future without driving jobs overseas and further damaging our economy.”

Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

E&E News The American people are becoming very wary – and some are even frightened – by the persistence of these comprehensive plans to try to change the whole country. The Boxer-Kerry bill is a combination of fancy, complicated words that means high energy costs that will drive American jobs overseas.

Alexander These are fancy, complicated words for high-cost energy that sends jobs overseas looking for cheap energy. Instead, we should take practical steps to produce low-cost, clean, carbon-free energy and create jobs. Specifically, we should build 100 new nuclear plants, electrify half our cars and trucks, expand exploration offshore for American natural gas and oil, and double funding for energy research and development.

John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

Mother Jones Barrasso, meanwhile, was all over the map. He tried to change the subject in response to a question about whether he believed climate change is real, then rambled on about how he’s talked to some people who are skeptical of anthropogenic warming before citing an experimental carbon-capture project in Wyoming to “lower and to capture and sequester carbon dioxide.” Nevertheless, he eventually concluded: “I don’t believe it is a problem at this point.”

Kit Bond (R-Mo.)

E&E News It’s hard to believe that Kerry-Boxer is worse than the other California-Massachusetts bill.

Mother Jones None of the farmers I have talked to in Missouri have expressed concerns about human-caused global climate change. We have seen in Missouri the benefits of the cooling that started in ‘98. We’ve had ample rain. We are right now worrying about making sure the growing season is long enough.”

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

The Age This is not the time to be adding costs.

E&E News We have a positive plan, and that is more nuclear. It is time for us to look at the real answers to green energy and have something positive that is not going to be a further burden on American families.

Jim Inhofe (R-Ok.)

E&E News I don’t think there are too many people that want to go back, particularly some of the newly elected Democrats, go back home and say, ‘Aren’t you proud of me? I voted for the largest tax increase in American history.’

E&E News All of these participants, these are Republicans, there are moderate and conservative Republicans, we didn’t say anything about the science in this thing. Nonetheless, it’s the economics. It can’t be denied that this would be the largest tax increase in the history of America.

Mother Jones We’ve asked that question of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, and the answer is no. Their feeling is that God is still up there, we go through cycles, and there’s not that strong of a relationship between anthropogenic gases and climate change.

Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)

Johanns This bill is an assault on agriculture. It is to the left of Speaker Pelosi and to the left of the President. It will lead to higher taxes, higher energy costs, a tighter squeeze on disposable income, more lost jobs and lower standards of living. For agriculture, the costs are real and the benefits are theoretical—our country’s heartland is in the crosshairs of this national energy tax.

John McCain (R-Ariz.)

National Journal The bill introduced Wednesday by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has “nothing about nuclear power,” McCain complained in the interview, which was part of the “First Draft of History” forum sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. “It’s the left-wing environmental organizations that are not allowing us to move forward with nuclear power.” He noted that France generates roughly 80 percent of its power from nuclear energy. “So, what are we doing up here? Nothing,” the senator scoffed. “To me, that is an offense to my intellect and what we need to do to” address climate change.

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Mother Jones We must determine how to balance environmental progress with economic growth. Our economy is already struggling – now is not the time to enact a bill that impose financial burdens that extent of which we don’t know for sure.

Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)

Roberts Just as in the House, members of coastal states in California and Massachusetts introduced legislation that will be harmful to Kansans. The latest rendition of a cap-and-tax bill raises the price of gasoline, diesel, fertilizer, natural gas, and coal. If this bill were to pass, Kansans, and all Americans, including those in big cities that depend on the food and fiber we grow, are likely to see an increase in their utility bill, transportation costs and basic consumer goods. As a member of the Senate Agriculture and Senate Finance Committees, I will continue to fight against such proposals that ship jobs overseas, ration domestic energy and result in greater government bureaucracy. It is not in the best interests of the United States to unilaterally undertake mandatory carbon reductions until developing countries like China, India and Brazil agree to the same.

John Thune (R-S.Dak.)

E&E News I think a lot of this is Congress trying to reorganize big parts of our economy.

Roger Wicker

Charleston Daily Mail Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., called the Democratic bill a “cap and trade scheme” that “would suppress our economic recovery, cost jobs across our economy and result in higher prices on everything from energy to food for every single American.”