With some communities along the eastern seaboard concerned that the BP oil spill could reach their waters, a bipartisan group of Atlantic Coast U.S. senators wants to coordinate preparedness between their states and federal response agencies. Senator Robert Menendez and 21 of his East Coast colleagues wrote the following letter to the heads of the relevant federal agencies:
Dear Admiral Allen, Secretary Napolitano, and Secretary Locke:
As United States Senators representing coastal states along the
Atlantic seaboard, we are keeping close watch on the oil spill in the
Gulf of Mexico, not only so we can help the residents of that region,
but also to assess whether the oil and chemical dispersants might
affect the beaches and fisheries in our home states.
The United States is falling behind in the clean energy revolution. A comprehensive climate and energy bill can get us back on track.
In 10 years, when we look back on the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, hopefully we can note that 2010 is when it all changed — when American policymakers and people finally figured it out.
Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) delivered the following remarks from the Senate floor Thursday at the beginning of the debate on her EPA Disapproval Resolution. The resolution failed by a vote of 47 to 53.
"Mr. President, during the Memorial Day recess we received two pieces of alarming news that should inform the work of every member of this chamber. First we learned that the national debt has surpassed $13 trillion in total. Shortly after that, we learned that nearly all jobs added in May came from temporary Census positions. The private sector created just 41,000 jobs last month — many fewer than expected, and a far cry from a pace that will allow us to dig out from the economic recession.
While I am sympathetic to Senator Murkowski’s concerns, I plan to vote against her resolution because it would eliminate EPA’s ability to regulate emissions from vehicles. The government and the auto industry have agreed to set these new standards for vehicle emissions and it would be a mistake to jeopardize this historic agreement, which will reduce our dependence on oil by 1.8 billion barrels.
This is the last opportunity for a lot of the Democrats voting in the Senate to vote against a massive government take-over. Initially, when Senator Murkowski talked about doing this, I said that my only concern is – it’s unlikely you’ll reach a majority. And if that happens, then people, like some of you in this room, will mischaracterize that as supporting a type of cap-and-trade. That’s definitely not the case.
Later today the Senate will vote on an issue of vital importance to every American family and business: and that’s whether the Environmental Protection Agency should be allowed to impose a backdoor national energy tax on the American people.
The multitude of voices now declaiming on energy policy are
so clangorous that it’s easy to overlook the points of convergence,
which are these:
- Energy provision is too dirty.
- Energy provision is too entangling.
- Energy prices are too volatile.
Does anyone in 2010 America seriously question these propositions?
Today the Senate is voting on Senator Lisa Murkowski’s resolution that would prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions through the Clean Air Act. In the months and years to come there is going to be a long and spirited debate about the desirability and structure of any federal government effort against carbon pollution.