Joe Manchin III on Energy & Oil
Democratic WV Governor
Manchin also was highly critical of attempts by the Obama administration to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, saying the path it was taking wasn't going to solve the problem. But technology that could allow the U.S. to continue using coal while minimizing CO2--known as carbon capture and storage--is years, if not decades, away from large-scale use, if it proves practical at all. And scientific organizations such as the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change say immediate action needs to be taken if the worst consequences of global warming are to be prevented.
Sen. Byrd became a fairly reliable vote for climate action, but the next senator from the state probably won't carry on that legacy.
We are reaching new and better ways to use our coal. There is a balance to be had between our economy and our environment and West Virginia is leading the way in finding that balance. The world's first successful carbon capture and sequestration project is at AEP's Mountaineer Power Plant. And plans are moving ahead on a coal-to-liquids project that will use state-of-the-art cleaner coal technology. Through this technology, West Virginia coal will be our primary energy source as we make the transition to the fuels of the future.
Local production of renewable biomass energy benefits the national economy, promotes national and regional energy security and stimulates the rural economy through the creation of high quality jobs. Encouraging such production will require increased federal investment in programs that support cellulosic biofuels research, increased biodiesel production and use, increases in wind and solar energy and energy from animal wastes, improvements in energy efficiency, bio-based product development, effective carbon storage, and other renewable technologies.
As history has shown us, the federal government is not going to be the leader in developing a sound national energy policy that makes sense for America. To protect our consumers and preserve our national defense, it is up to the leaders in all 50 states to develop individual energy policies that could be the basis for formulating a national policy, drawing on the best of each state. West Virginia has a significant role to play in the national urgency for energy independence.
Proponent's Argument for voting Yes:
[Sen. McConnell, R-KY]: The White House is trying to impose a backdoor national energy tax through the EPA. It is a strange way to respond to rising gas prices. But it is perfectly consistent with the current Energy Secretary's previously stated desire to get gas prices in the US up to where they are in Europe.
Opponent's Argument for voting No:
[Sen. Lautenberg, D-NJ]:We hear the message that has been going around: Let's get rid of the EPA's ability to regulate. Who are they to tell us what businesses can do? Thank goodness that in this democratic society in which we live, there are rules and regulations to keep us as a civilized nation. The Supreme Court and scientists at the Environmental Protection Agency agreed that the Clean Air Act is a tool we must use to stop dangerous pollution. This amendment, it is very clear, favors one group--the business community. The Republican tea party politicians say: "Just ignore the Supreme Court. Ignore the scientists. We know better." They want to reward the polluters by crippling EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act.
Status: Failed 50-50 (3/5
We feel compelled to guard against a regulatory approach that would increase the cost of electricity and gasoline prices, manufactured products, and ultimately harm the competitiveness of the US economy. As governors, we strongly urge Congress to stop harmful EPA regulation of greenhouse gas emissions that could damage those vital interests. We ask that Congress continue its work to pass comprehensive legislation that balances the role of conservation and climate security with the production of abundant and affordable American energy. The EPA has initiated efforts to impose greenhouse gas regulations that could be harmful to our economies at an especially critical time. As Governors, we are gravely concerned about such regulation.
EPA is not equipped to consider the very real potential for economic harm when regulating emissions. Without that consideration, regulation will place heavy administrative burdens on state environmental quality agencies, will be costly to consumers, and could be devastating to the economy and jobs.
We believe that EPA should offer input regarding complex energy and environmental policy initiatives, like reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but feel that these policies are best developed by elected representatives at the state and national level, not by a single federal agency. There is no question that broad bipartisan support exists to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while taking into consideration the difficult fiscal situation that our states and the nation face.
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