Breaking news from Washington, with word that West Virginia Congressman Alan Mollohan plans to vote against the big climate change bill. Here’s his statement:
Mollohan to Vote Against Climate Change Bill
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â WASHINGTON â€“ Congressman Alan B. Mollohan announced today that he will vote against HR 2454, the Waxman-Markey climate change bill scheduled for debate tomorrow.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â â€œAs currently drafted, this legislation is not in the best interests of my constituents, and itâ€™s not in the best interests of West Virginia,â€ Mollohan said.Â â€œFor the past several weeks, I have joined the electric utility industry, the coal industry, the United Mine Workers of America, and other coal state Representatives on negotiations to improve the legislation.Â We have made significant progress on a number of fronts that together would hold down the cost of electricity to residential and industrial consumers, that would help level the playing field for our steel and manufacturing industries that face international competition, and that would enable the electric power industry to continue to burn West Virginia coal.Â As a result of our efforts, the bill is much improved from the original draft, but it still falls short in several key areas, and I cannot support it.â€Â
While this bill is greatly improved from the discussion draft that was first circulated in March of this year – and opponents were saying no even before that draft was written – more improvements are needed to gain my support.
Coal does much more than keep the lights on in big cities across America.Â In southern West Virginia, it covers the mortgage, puts food on the family dinner table, and keeps open the doors of small businesses.Â While the emissions target in the early years of this program has been lowered from the 20% cap initially contained in this bill, there remains widespread concern that even the reduced cap — 17% in 2020 — is still too high and too soon to incentivize rapid development and deployment of carbon capture and sequestration
technologies, so as to ensure coal mining jobs for the future.Â Â We must
allow time for expensive clean coal technologies to come on line.
These technologies are critical to lowering emissions across multiple sectors of our economy.Â And they are necessary for keeping hardworking coal miners in the jobs they want, providing power for the country they
love.Â Â Â