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May 132010

From Green Right Now Reports

A flood of responses from energy companies, health organizations, environmental groups and other organizations has met the proposed American Power Act from John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.). The bill is seen as something of a compromise between the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), passed by the House last year, and the broad energy proposal that has been favored by President Obama.

Who hates it:

American Lung Association: “We at the American Lung Association were shocked to read language included in the draft American Power Act introduced today by Senators John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman that would unleash a dangerous process to attack life-saving rules on coal-fired power plants and threaten to permit much more air pollution around the nation. The outrageous proposal creates an open door through which millions of tons of life-threatening pollution could be allowed to flow. We oppose these provisions. The American Lung Association cannot support legislation that includes changes to the Clean Air Act that undermine the protection of public health. We urge the Senate to strip such unnecessary and objectionable language from any bill. Burning coal creates particle pollution and key components of ozone. These are lethal substances, recognized as such by repeated scientific review. Particle pollution and ozone aren’t the only pollutants targeted under the bill as proposed—just the most widespread. The draft bill invites attack on safeguards applying to a horde of other noxious emissions, known under the Clean Air Act as hazardous air pollutants, which include mercury, arsenic, lead and other toxics.”

Alliance for Generational Equity: Says the bill is an ‘unlimited’ bailout of nuclear power as bad or worse than Wall Street bailout. AGE Vice President and CEO Dave Herman said: “This is not about whether you support or you oppose nuclear power. For elected officials, it is about whether they are being sincere in saying no more federal bailouts. Whether it’s for banks, car companies, investment firms or nuclear reactors, a bailout is a bailout is a bailout. In fact, this is even worse than the earlier bailouts since the nuclear loan guarantees are unlimited, meaning there is literally no limit to how deeply the industry could reach into taxpayers’ pockets.”

National Petrochemical & Refiners Association: Says the bill should be rejected because it would hurt American families and workers, weaken the nation’s economic recovery and harm U.S. national security. “The draconian carbon reduction targets and timetables in this bill would trigger destructive change in America’s economic climate,” said NPRA Executive Vice President and General Counsel Gregory M. Scott. “This would add billions of dollars in energy costs for American families and businesses, destroy the jobs of millions of American workers, and make our nation more dependent on foreign energy sources.”

American Trucking Associations: Says “the bill will raise the cost of gasoline and diesel fuel without significantly reducing the output of carbon dioxide by the trucking industry, which is a non-discretionary user of diesel fuel. The Senate bill would require refiners to purchase billions of dollars worth of carbon allowances that correspond to the carbon footprint of the fuels they sell. The refiners will then pass this cost on to consumers in the form of higher fuel prices. As such, the Senate bill operates as a hidden multi-billion-dollar tax.”

Who likes it:

We Can Lead, a coalition of more than 150 major U.S. businesses: “Passage of comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation will allow the U.S. to be a worldwide leader in the next great global industry, green technologies,” said John Doerr, partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. “This pragmatic framework is crucial to the success of American entrepreneurship and will ensure a cleaner, stronger and more secure future for us all.”

Alliance to Save Energy: Says the bill “provides important allocations of funding from carbon allowances for energy efficiency — although significantly reduced from funding in the House-passed and Senate Environment and Public Works Committee-passed energy and climate bills.  At least 20 percent of the allocation for customers of natural gas utilities would be for cost-effective energy efficiency programs, and a small allocation would go to states for energy efficiency and renewable energy programs such as building codes, building performance labeling and building retrofits. In order to reduce emissions from transportation, the bill also includes robust funding for innovative state and local transportation programs and planning. The bill is mostly silent on energy efficiency policy in deference to the Senate Energy Committee’s American Clean Energy Leadership Act.”

American Wind Energy Association: “The wind energy industry appreciates the efforts of Senators Kerry and Lieberman to address climate change in their proposal. We look forward to seeing provisions on renewable energy like a strong Renewable Electricity Standard as well as energy efficiency to create new clean energy jobs and avoid carbon in the near term in any package considered by the Senate. We urge Senate Leadership to move quickly on strong legislation.”

Shell Oil Company: “Shell commends Senators Kerry and Lieberman for introducing an energy and climate bill designed to strengthen our economy, create jobs and enhance our energy security while reducing greenhouse gas emissions. This legislation ensures America’s global competitiveness and recognizes the role clean natural gas can play in growing the economy and protecting the environment. The senators have taken a fresh approach to transportation emissions that encourages the development of home-grown energy, provides transparency for consumers and enables American refiners to compete against imports of diesel and gasoline.”

Public Service Enterprise Group, a public energy company: PSEG Chairman Ralph Izzo lauded the climate change bill, saying it “gets the critical issues right” and provides protection for consumers as well as the regulatory and legislative certainty needed to unleash investment and create jobs. Izzo said: “The disastrous spill in the gulf serves as a reminder that we can no longer delay development of a comprehensive energy policy that achieves fuel diversity and puts a price on carbon. PSEG is ready to make significant investments that would help combat climate change, but we need the regulatory certainty that the passage of this legislation would provide.”

United Steelworkers: “The USW has long believed that the goals of stopping the threat of climate change and creating thousands of clean energy jobs can and should be two sides of the same coin.  To do this, a climate bill must ensure that emissions are actually reduced and not simply off-shored along with millions of American jobs.

“A well-constructed approach should limit the amount of carbon ‘leakage’ – the incentive for production of goods and jobs to simply move to countries that fail to address global climate change.  This leakage of emissions and jobs has the potential to undermine both the economic and environmental goals of energy and climate legislation, and it is critical that any climate bill include a comprehensive and fully-funded package of policies to prevent it….The USW is pleased that U.S. Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman have included a variety of key provisions in their discussion draft of the American Power Act, including the crucial anti-leakage provisions.

“While there are many details that remain to be worked out in terms of sufficiency of allocations — qualification for these programs, the strength and certainty of the border allowance requirement — the USW appreciates the work done by the Senators to move the process forward and bring us to this point.”

Duke Energy: Says the bill will “create jobs, protect electricity consumers, make our nation’s energy supply more secure, and protect our environment. The legislation can help the U.S. get its economic ‘mojo’ back. It also sends a clear signal to our nation’s innovators that there will be markets for their products and services.”

Dow Corning: The company “is encouraged by the outline unveiled today by Senators Kerry and Lieberman and we look forward to participating in the process that ultimately results in a comprehensive energy bill. We welcome the elements of the proposal which encourage further development of domestic renewable energy manufacturing and implementation while emphasizing the need to find a legislative solution to reduce carbon emissions, rather than forcing the EPA to regulate. It is essential that any smart energy legislation which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions should not inadvertently discourage U.S. growth in the manufacturing and production of renewable energy sources.”