Alexander Cosponsors Comprehensive Climate Change Amendment to Energy Bill

Posted on June 21, 2005

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today joined Senators Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Mark Pryor (D-AR), Larry Craig (R-ID), Elizabeth Dole (R-NC), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), George Voinovich (R-OH), Ted Stevens (R-AK) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) in introducing a comprehensive bipartisan Climate Change amendment to the Senate energy bill. The amendment sponsored by Senator Hagel provides a comprehensive, voluntary approach to addressing the issue of climate change both domestically and internationally. The provision focuses on the development of science and technology and working with developing countries in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "This provision gives us the opportunity to reduce greenhouse gasses by expanding our science research and technologies, exploring better ways to collect harmful carbon emissions in the coal gasification process and working with the international community on developing those new ideas," said Senator Alexander. "I appreciate Senator Hagel’s leadership on this issue and will continue to support legislation that enhances our ability to keep our air clean." "We all agree on the need for a clean environment and stable climate. The debate is about solutions. Our amendment is a market-driven, technology-based approach that connects the public and private sectors and enhances the U.S. economy. It recognizes the need for U.S. leadership at home and with developing countries if we are to achieve meaningful reductions in greenhouse gases. "We have an opportunity to take a critical step forward in addressing climate change both internationally and domestically by passing this common sense amendment," Senator Hagel said. "Climate change is not a new issue to this body, but years of debate have led to a stalemate on policy and too little has been done to address the problem. This amendment moves us in the right direction by making needed investments in technologies and research that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Senator Pryor said. "By passing this measure we will encourage American ingenuity, international partnerships and, above all, progress." "Our policy must recognize the legitimate needs of our bilateral trading partners to use their resources and meet the needs of their people. For too long the climate policy debate has been fixated on assigning blame and inflicting pain. This is harmful and counterproductive. Our best technology must be made available and our research activities must focus on developing country needs as well as our own," Senator Craig said. "The provisions in this amendment encourage reductions without containing government mandates that can’t work in a multi-trillion-dollar economy. This legislation promotes new technology that will be the key to reducing our emissions in the 21st Century. And it will work without harming the global economy, which is the key for sustained progress on this issue," Senator Murkowski said. "I am pleased to be a cosponsor of this bipartisan amendment being offered today by Senator Hagel and Senator Pryor. Combined with current Administration actions and the numerous provisions in the energy bill that already address climate change, I believe this amendment comprehensively addresses this issue by focusing on technology development and international deployment. I look forward to debating this amendment and will work for its expeditious passage," Senator Voinovich said. "This amendment provides a comprehensive, voluntary approach to respond to climate change that compliments provisions included in the Energy bill, and the Administration's climate change programs. The amendment is a reasonable, progressive response to climate change that I am happy to support," Senator Stevens said.