WASHINGTON, D.C. — Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and longtime member of the Senate Finance Committee, issued the following statement on his two year EPA suspension legislation, the Commerce Committee’s work on the crisis in the Gulf, and his continued efforts toward an energy policy that will work for West Virginia:
“The Senate should be focusing on the immediate issues before us – to suspend EPA action on greenhouse gas emissions, push clean coal technologies, and tackle the Gulf oil spill. We need to set aside controversial and more far-reaching climate proposals and work right now on energy legislation that protects our economy, protects West Virginia and improves our environment.
“The Majority Leader has indicated publicly that the Senate will have a vote on my EPA bill this year, which is good news. This bill is needed as soon as possible – not only to guarantee that Congress, rather than an unelected regulatory agency, sets our national energy policy, but also to make sure that in this very fragile economic recovery, our manufacturing and energy sectors are able to grow and create jobs.
“I also strongly support legislation to develop and deploy clean energy technologies. Senator Voinovich and I have often joined forces – West Virginia and Ohio – when it comes to energy, and we are putting the final touches on a bipartisan bill to advance clean coal technology through carbon capture and storage (CCS). As chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, I am moving forward with hearings and legislation to fix the oil spill liability laws and help coastal communities and waterways.
“Our nation continues to face tough economic times, a serious need for new energy technologies, and a catastrophic oil spill. If – and only if – we keep our eye on the ball and keep the focus on the needs of the people and the economic viability of our communities, I think we can move forward with legislation that makes a real difference. But if we get sidetracked by a bitter fight over more extreme proposals that are little understood and could hurt our economy, especially in energy-intensive states like West Virginia – then we could end up with nothing.”