September 29, 2009
Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov (202)224-9797
David Lungren David_Lungren@epw.senate.gov (202)224-5642
EPW REPUBLICANS CALL FOR A FAIR, OPEN PROCESS, URGE BOXER TO INTRODUCE COMPLETE BILL
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee along with all EPW Republicans, today sent a letter to Chairman Barbara Boxer urging the introduction of a complete cap-and-trade bill with no placeholders.
“My hope is that Chairman Boxer avoids repeating the process of pushing climate change legislation in the House, in which key portions of the bill were inserted at the last minute, and the American people were left guessing as to how it would impact their energy costs, their jobs, and America’s energy security,” Inhofe said. “We must have a fair, open, and transparent process so we can have a debate on the facts and the substance of legislation with all its provisions, no matter how politically sensitive they may be.”
In an earlier letter sent August 6, 2009 to Chairman Boxer, signed by all EPW Republicans, Committee members requested a full and accurate version of legislation to ensure adequate time to assess and analyze the bill’s key provisions.
Full text of letter:
The Honorable Barbara Boxer, Chairman
Committee on Environment and Public Works
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Chairman Boxer,
According to news reports, Sen. Kerry and you plan to introduce cap-and-trade legislation on Wednesday, September 30. We understand that your bill, as currently drafted, is incomplete in several important respects- most notably, it lacks a formula to determine the allocation of emission allowances. Leaving out these and other key provisions makes it impossible to get an objective estimate of the economic impacts of your bill on consumers, especially those in energy-intensive regions that rely on coal for electricity and manufacturing for jobs. Moreover, farmers, families and workers have no way of gauging how acutely they will be affected from job losses, higher electricity, food, and gasoline prices.
On August 6th we wrote to you about these concerns, stating that, “To what degree families will pay higher utility bills, farmers will face higher production costs, drivers will face more pain at the pump, and workers will face a greater likelihood of losing their jobs, depends on how a cap-and-trade program distributes its tradable allowances. This makes knowing the allocation scheme vital to determining who it will help and who it will hurt.” Moreover, as we wrote then and continue to believe now, we cannot repeat the process in the House, in which committee members had only a few days to review critical components of cap-and-trade legislation before markup, and a 300-page supplement was not made public until just hours before the final vote on the floor.
Certainly you would agree with us that the American people and their elected representatives need a fair, open, and transparent review of your legislation. In that vein, we urge you to introduce complete legislation, with no placeholders. Moreover, it is imperative that we have a complete bill well in advance of legislative hearings and markup. Otherwise the legislative process will not paint a full and accurate picture of your legislation to the American people.
Senator James M. Inhofe
Senator George V. Voinovich
Senator David Vitter
Senator John Barrasso
Senator Mike Crapo
Senator Christopher S. Bond
Senator Lamar Alexander