Rockefeller: Any Senate Climate Legislation Should Solidify West Virginia and Coal's Future

September 30, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, released the following statement regarding climate legislation introduced today by Senators Barbara Boxer and John Kerry:
“The climate legislation proposed today by Senators Boxer and Kerry is a disappointing step in the wrong direction and I am against it.
“Requiring 20 percent emission reductions by 2020 is unrealistic and harmful – it is simply not enough time to deploy the carbon capture and storage (CCS) and energy efficiency technologies we need.  Period.
“Our nation cannot survive without energy from coal and any viable climate policy must solidify our future by focusing on technology to make coal cleaner faster.
“I will continue studying the bill and all of its implications for our state and the coal industry. This is by no means the defining word on climate legislation in the Senate.
“I remain adamant in my conviction not to support any bill that might threaten the economy, workers or families across West Virginia. 
“We should take the time to approach these issues with absolute care and diligence – they require nothing less.”
At least six Senate committees, including the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, which Rockefeller chairs, have jurisdiction over climate legislation and could offer their own versions – which would ultimately have to be incorporated into one bill before being considered on the Senate floor.
Rockefeller has consistently pushed to make CCS technologies part of the solution in making the United States more energy independent. He fought to make sure funding for CCS technologies was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act – and as a result, $3.4 billion was secured for low carbon coal and carbon sequestration projects.
As discussions surrounding climate legislation move forward in the Senate, Rockefeller is fighting for even stronger investments in the technologies needed to secure a confident future for West Virginia coal.