Johnny Isakson United States Senator

Energy and Cap-and-Trade

Energy and Cap-and-Trade

It is in the geopolitical and environmental interests of the United States to reduce our dependence on imported foreign oil. The United States must develop a balanced national energy policy that increases and diversifies our country’s energy supply in environmentally and economically friendly ways.

The significant increase in energy costs has affected the American economy and the family budget. We will bring costs down only when we develop our untapped domestic energy supplies. This includes environmentally responsible exploration of our own oil and natural gas resources, our reserves in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and our oil shale reserves. We also must pursue measures such as increasing nuclear power generation, expanding renewable sources of energy and promoting conservation and efficiency. We can be good stewards of our land while at the same time lessening our dependence on foreign oil.

As a major consumer of energy, America also should be a leader in the development of new sources of energy and the development of renewable resources.

The use of alternative feed-stocks such as wood byproducts, grasses and byproducts from peanuts, cotton and municipal waste can help us achieve a positive relationship between our economic needs and our environmental conservation. We also should invest in new technologies involving ethanol, biodiesel and coal liquification to replace traditional fossil fuels.

America’s energy infrastructure should encourage using energy sources such as nuclear, natural gas, clean coal, biomass, wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energies. We have a diverse country with many assets that regionally are very different. If we’re going to have standards that call on us to find renewable energy to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, we must promote all those sources and not narrow those sources.

Cap-and-Trade Energy Tax

While the United States must develop a balanced national energy policy to increase and diversify our nation’s sources of energy in an environmental and economically appropriate manner, I am afraid that some in Congress and the administration are rushing to judgment in favor of a cap-and-trade system to regulate carbon. Such a program will raise the cost of energy to all Georgians – especially those who rely on electric energy – in the form of higher utility bills and prices of goods and services.

Thus, I strongly oppose the Waxman-Markey climate change cap-and-trade bill that passed the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009. The cost of this bill alone is estimated to cost Georgia utility ratepayers $8.6 billion over the next 10 years. This is unacceptable.

We need incentives to reduce carbon, not to punish its production, and I am working to ensure that the flawed Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill, that would raise the cost of energy to all Georgians and negatively impact the American economy, does not pass the Senate.