Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., helped lead the Senate to defeat a global climate change proposal today which Enzi said could have cut Wyoming jobs while not living up to its stated environment goals.
Enzi rallied with his colleagues to defeat the proposal offered as an amendment by Senators John McCain, R-Ariz., and Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., to the Senate energy bill. The amendment sought to create a mandatory carbon cap-and-trade program in the United States. The amendment was defeated by a vote of 60-38.
“A cap and trade system in the United States for carbon emissions would hurt Wyoming jobs without helping the environment. I am pleased to see the Senate defeat this measure and I am hopeful we can move ahead and pass a comprehensive energy plan that recognizes Wyoming can be part of the answer to this countries energy needs,” said Enzi.
The global climate proposal would have imposed the first ever restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions by allowing the government to establish tradable allowances of units of carbon dioxide equivalents. The proposal would have increased the nation’s energy costs between $64 and $92 billion in 2010 according to the Independent Energy Information Administration.
“Not only was this proposal costly and the science behind the proposal questionable, but the proposal did not take a global approach to addressing carbon emissions. A unilateral approach to reducing carbon emissions would have little to no effect and until there is a plan for developing and undeveloped countries to work together to reduce carbon emissions, the actions of this country will not make any difference,” said Enzi.
Enzi is a strong proponent of the Senate energy bill which would provide a comprehensive national energy policy. Its goal is to expand domestic energy production, increasing conservation and efficiency efforts while decreasing dependence on foreign oil. Enzi worked to include provisions in the legislation that would also provide production incentives for oil and gas exploration and seeks to maintain the nation’s coal production capacity. Wyoming has oil refineries in Evansville, Evanston, Cheyenne, Newcastle and Sinclair that could benefit from the bill.
A vote on the final Senate energy bill is likely this week or next week. The House passed its version of the energy bill, H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, by a vote of 249-183 on April 21. Once the Senate passes its version of the energy bill it will go to a conference committee to work out differences between the House and Senate bills.
Video of Enzi’s comments will be available later today on his website and can be accessed at enzi.senate.gov.