November 05, 2009

Udall: Global Warming Challenge Demands Bipartisan Cooperation

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Tom Udall, D-NM, reported today that the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee approved S.1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. Udall, a member of the committee, voted to pass the legislation so that broader, bipartisan cooperation and consensus to promote clean energy and combat global warming could be reached when the bill is debated by the full Senate Chamber. The EPW Chairman brought the measure to a vote in accordance with Committee rules after all seven Republican committee members boycotted several scheduled meetings to review and debate the bill.

Following the vote, Udall said, “Rather than face further delays and stalling tactics in this room, we should move on and seek bipartisan compromise on the floor. As a result, I support reporting this legislation to the full Senate. Senators from all parties and regions should have a chance to weigh in.”

Udall also noted that “bipartisan momentum is building” for clean energy and climate legislation, highlighting yesterday’s announcement by Senators John Kerry, D-MA, Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Joe Lieberman, I-CT, to build upon S. 1733 and make additional improvements.

In the EPW Committee, Udall worked to include several provisions in the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act that benefit New Mexico and the West while putting the nation on a path toward energy independence, including:

Increased support for renewable energy development, including large-scale projects;

  • A greater role for natural gas, an abundant traditional fuel with low emissions;
  • Enhanced protections of natural resources and special places from wildfire and drought linked to climate change;
  • Increased protections for energy consumers, including rural electric cooperatives;
  • Enhanced roles for Indian tribes in developing clean energy and climate solutions;
  • Improved compliance options for small domestic oil refineries which serve New Mexico;
  • New opportunities for farmers and ranchers through the Supplemental Agriculture and Renewable Energy Program;
  • Greater role in the Renewable Fuels Standard for biofuels produced from algae.

“While this legislation continues to be a work in progress, this bill addresses many issues critical to New Mexico and the West,” Udall said. “I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on a bipartisan basis to spur the creation of a clean energy economy and effectively combat global warming.”

A longtime proponent of a “Do It All” energy approach, Udall is a staunch advocate of a national energy policy that includes all of the tools in our energy toolbox - including energy efficiency, solar, wind, biofuels, natural gas, enhanced oil recovery, safe nuclear power and clean coal technologies.

S. 1733 would create a system of clean energy incentives and place limits on global warming pollution from approximately 7,500 large industrial facilities in the United States.

Economic analysis by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the Congressional Budget Office, found the clean energy incentives would reduce imports of foreign oil and the costs of controlling global warming pollution would be low. Further analysis by academic and non-profit organizations also found clean energy incentives in S. 1733 would create nearly 2 million jobs and billions of dollars in energy savings.