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.”

GOP Team At American Energy Alliance Runs 'Energy Town Hall' Oil Bus Tour

Posted by Wonk Room Sat, 22 Aug 2009 23:11:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

AEA Team
American Energy Alliance staffers Kevin Kennedy, Patrick Creighton, and Laura Henderson on tour in Pennsylvania. All are former House GOP staff.
The American Energy Alliance (AEA), a new polluter front group, is touring the nation to smear President Barack Obama’s clean energy reform agenda. Employees riding the “American Energy Express” bus are spreading the conservative claim that the American Clean Energy and Security Act will “cripple our sluggish economy.” AEA is the 501 c(4) offshoot of the Institute for Energy Research, a right-wing oil-industry think tank run by Robert Bradley, a former speechwriter for Kenneth Lay. E&E News reports that AEA’s “Energy Town Hall” bus tour pictures workers in hard hats:
The American Energy Alliance, which is affiliated with the conservative Institute for Energy Research, has begun a four-week bus tour to county fairs, sporting events and public meetings in several coal-reliant states. Representatives of the group will travel in a large blue bus carrying the slogan “Stop the National Energy Tax, Save American Jobs” and a picture of workers in hard hats. They will cross Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Virginia. Yesterday, AEA officials participated in a rally with another group, Americans for Prosperity, in Zanesville, Ohio; a day earlier, they visited a county fair in western Pennsylvania.
AEA argues it has “no ties to any political party”:
AEA has no ties to any political party, and it has no interest in supporting the agenda of any particular political party.

However, AEA is tightly connected to the Republican Party and right-wing oil interests. In fact, all of its employees are former House Republican staffers:

Thomas J. Pyle, AEA President, Is A Oil Lobbyist And DeLay Operative. Before joining the Institute for Energy Research and the American Energy Alliance, Pyle worked as a lobbyist for the right-wing oil giant Koch Industries, first in-house starting in 2001, and then at the Rhoads Group. In 2008 Pyle became a lobbyist for the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. Previously, Pyle served as policy analyst for Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX), Majority Whip of the U.S. House of Representatives and as staff director for the GOP Congressional Western Caucus. Pyle started as a legislative assistant for radical anti-environmentalists Rep. Richard Pombo (R-CA) and Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA). [Institute for Energy Research, Center for Public Integrity]

Patrick Creighton, AEA Communications Director, Worked For Bush And Pennsylvania Republicans. Patrick Creighton was the special assistant to Samuel T. Mok, the chief financial officer at the Department of Labor from 2004 to 2006. He then worked as a spokesman for oil and natural gas advocate Rep. John Peterson (R-PA) from 2006 to 2009, worked to elect Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA), then joined Thompson’s office until May 2009. [Institute for Energy Research, Legistorm]

Kevin Kennedy, AEA Federal Affairs Director, Promoted Alaska Drilling Under Don Young. After graduating from Union College in 2004, Kevin Kennedy worked for the Astroturf organization Arctic Power, which advocated drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. In 2007, Kennedy became a legislative assistant for the corrupt Rep. Don Young (R-AK) and the House Committee on Natural Resources. He joined the Institute for Energy Research and American Energy Alliance in 2009. [Institute for Energy Research]

Laura Henderson, AEA Spokesperson, Served Shelby, Dole, And Tiberi. Laura Henderson was a former press secretary for offshore drilling advocate Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) from 2005-2009. Previously, she worked for former Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) and Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH). [Institute for Energy Research]

Daniel R. Simmons, AEA State Affairs Director, Is A Koch-Funded GOP Staffer. Simmons was the Director of the Natural Resources Task Force at the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a right-wing network funded by Koch Industries, the American Petroleum Institute, and other corporate and right-wing organizations. Previously, Simmons was a Research Fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University, also funded by Koch. From 2001 to 2005, Simmons served on the staff of Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA) on the House Natural Resources Committee. Simmons holds a B.A. in Economics from Utah State University and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law, also supported by Koch Industries. [Institute for Energy Research, Legistorm]

Furthermore, AEA’s website is run by yet another former GOP House staffer: Webmaster Nathan Imperiale Runs EnergyTownHall.Org. AEA’s was designed by NJI Media Group, part of Endeavour Global Strategies. Endeavour’s head, Sean Spicer, is a long-time GOP operative, including communications work for the House Republican Conference and the Bush White House. NJI Media Group’s president, Nathan Imperiale, served as Director of New Media for the House Republican Conference, building its website. [Twitter, 2/13/09; Endeavour Global Strategies]

AEA’s “American Energy Express” joins a field crowded by conservative oil and coal propaganda - the American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity’s “Factuality” bus tour, the American Petroleum Institute’s “Hot Air” balloon tour.