Friday, July 03, 2009

Congressman Kirk Defends His Vote on Cap & Trade Bill. But . . .

There is significant anger at the eight Republicans who voted in favor of the Cap & Trade bill that passed by a narrow margin last week. One of those eight, as you've probably heard, is Illinois Congressman Mark Kirk, who has experienced something of a backlash. Here are a few paragraphs I have cherry-picked from his statement (which means that you should go read the whole thing for yourself):

While less ideal than the Forbes Substitute, the underlying ACES bill would still lower our dependence on foreign oil by diversifying American energy production. It is time to break the boom and bust cycle of high gas prices and the need to deploy three separate armies to the Middle East (Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom). As you may know, I am a veteran of the Desert Storm and Enduring Freedom missions.

For 2009, our top goal should be energy independence. I support exploring for energy off our coasts, expanding nuclear power and building a natural gas pipeline across Canada to lower heating costs in the Midwest – an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy.

As a Navy veteran, I think is time to set America’s policy towards defunding Middle Eastern dictatorships by cutting our foreign oil bill, giving our troops less to worry about.
[. . .]
In sum, I would have preferred a bill that focused more on energy independence and less on some of the complications in this bill. Nevertheless, the 1990 Clean Air Act signed by President Bush established a cap and trade system to reduce acid rain that proved to be a great low-cost success. Much of the poisoned lakes in the east and New England have recovered from acid rain. In the coming Senate debate, I hope we can repeat this environmental success and aggressively back a national program to defund Iran and Venezuela by reducing America’s need for foreign oil.
But, as James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal points out, the bill incentivizes the use of foreign oil:

Saudi Arabia and Iran, respectively, have the world's largest and third-largest proven oil reserves, according to the CIA World Factbook. There's just one problem: According to a Bloomberg report, the legislation would actually create an incentive to use foreign oil rather than domestic, by imposing a more burdensome tax on the latter:

Refiners would have to buy allowances for carbon dioxide spewed from their plants and from vehicles when motorists burn their fuel. Imports would need permits only for the latter, which ConocoPhillips Chief Executive Officer Jim Mulva said would create a competitive imbalance.
"It will lead to the opportunity for foreign sources to bring in transportation fuels at a lower cost, which will have an adverse impact to our industry, potential shutdown of refineries and investment and, ultimately, employment," Mulva said in a June 16 interview in Detroit. . . .
The same amount of gasoline that would have $1 in carbon costs imposed if it were domestic would have 10 cents less added if it were imported, according to energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie in Houston.

It seems that Weiner didn't know what he was voting for. The bill passed by a 219-212 majority, and it seems plausible that at least three of Weiner's colleagues were similarly misled. The good news is that the bill's prospects in the Senate are doubtful. Three cheers for bicameralism.

Congressman Kirk was also on the Don & Roma Show on WLS (*listen*) discussing his position, and the resulting backlash. Let's hope Taranto is right about the prospects of the bill in the Senate, especially in view of the new(ly suppressed) EPA report that is raising doubts on the global warming issue.

(H/T conservativeBrand & Illinois Review)


Brett Rogers said...

Relentlessly go after the CapAndTr80rs

Pat said...

Hi, Brett - welcome! I think we need to let them know what we think, that's for sure!

Post a Comment

We love to hear your thoughts! However, comments containing profuse profanity, inane insults (unless they're entertaining), or anything else that makes us cranky may disappear.

Related Posts with Thumbnails