Posted on June 24, 2005
Last night the Senate finished most of its work on what I would call the Clean Energy Act of 2005. The first thing the bill does - and the most important in my opinion - is to stabilize and lower natural gas prices. We hear a lot of talk about the high-cost of oil, and nobody likes to pay high prices for gasoline at the pump, but the bigger problem is the price of natural gas. Across this country, there are millions of blue collar workers who work in plants where the cost of natural gas is driving their jobs overseas. Farmers have experienced the cost of fertilizer going up from $200 to $500 per unit. That’s a big pay cut for our farmers. American home owners rely on natural gas to heat or cool their homes - natural gas heats or cools more homes than any other kind of fuel - so the cost of natural gas is costing home owners up to 50 percent more in bills. So for blue collar workers, farmers and home owners this energy legislation that we’ll be voting on Tuesday stabilizes and potentially lowers the price of natural gas. That’s one of the single most important things we can do for our country. The second thing the bill does that’s important is it recognizes that global warming is a problem. There’s not a complete consensus on that in the United States Senate but the bill has a different kind of consensus that makes more of a difference because the bill changes the way we produce electricity toward ways that are low-carbon and no-carbon. The completion of a clean energy bill in the Senate is by far one of the most important things we have done because it affects millions of Americans. Our final vote will be on Tuesday, and I anticipate it will be a strong bipartisan vote of support, just as the work that was done here was strong and bipartisan.