Ten Dem senators write Obama about climate bill

Ten Democratic senators urged President Obama today to support stronger protections for U.S. manufacturing in major climate legislation.

In a letter to Obama, the senators asked for a strong "border adjustment mechanism" to help U.S. industries adjustment to higher energy costs. Such a "mechanism" might include a tax or tariff against foreign manufacturers whose costs aren't affected by the legislation.

"Any climate change legislation must prevent the export of jobs and related greenhouse gas emissions to countries that fail to take actions to combat the threat of global warming comparable to those taken by the United States," the senators write.

"It is essential that climate change legislation include a border mechanism, sufficient allowances to energy intensive industries and other effective measures that encourage international agreements and maintain a level playing field for American manufacturers."

U.S. trading partners have warned that a "border tax" might trigger retaliatory tariffs.

The letter's signatories hail mostly from midwest and/or industrial states: Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, etc.

The climate bill narrowly passed the House but has yet to come up for a vote in the Senate.

The signatories include: Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich), Russell D. Feingold (D-Wisc.), Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), Robert P. Casey (D-Pa.), Robert C. Byrd (D-W.V.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.V), and Al Franken (D-Minn).

Read the full letter after the jump.


President Barack Obama

The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.

Washington, DC 20500

We write to express our strong support for the inclusion of a package of initiatives, including a border adjustment mechanism, to ensure the viability and effectiveness of any climate change policy crafted by Congress.

As Congress considers energy and climate legislation, it is important that such a bill include provisions to maintain a level playing field for American manufacturing. Manufacturing accounts for more than 10 percent of our economy and nearly three-fourths of the nation