Sen. Robert Casey sent this letter to a Grist reader in early October in response to questions about his stance on climate legislation. He affirms that climate change is a serious problem and that he intends to work toward legislation to curb greenhouse-gas emissions. He also talks up “clean coal” and touts his efforts to get funding for carbon-capture-and-sequestration technology.
Thank you for taking the time to contact me regarding global warming. I appreciate hearing from all Pennsylvanians about the issues that matter to them most.
The international scientific community concluded human activities that add a large amount of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, to the atmosphere are a leading cause of global warming. I believe Congress must take action to reduce and eventually reverse the hazardous effects of global warming, including extreme weather, famine, population displacement and the escalated spread of disease.
The House of Representatives recently considered global warming legislation. H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, introduced on May 15, 2009 by Representative Henry Waxman of California and Representative Ed Markey of Massachusetts, takes a comprehensive approach to reducing greenhouse emissions through a number of proposed programs, such as capping carbon emissions, renewable energy requirements and energy efficiency standards. H.R. 2454 passed the House on June 26, 2009. When this bill comes before the Senate, it is likely that the Senate will divide the contents into two separate pieces of legislation, one focused on global warming policy and one on energy policy.
As the Senate considers global warming legislation, I will continue to advocate strongly for the people and the economy of Pennsylvania. In fact, I have introduced a bill focused on climate policy, S.1134 the Responsible Use of Coal Act, focused on carbon capture and storage technology. I am also working on a program which provides assistance to workers as they train for new clean energy jobs in a transitioning economy. In addition, I introduced a budget amendment for funding to help accelerate research and development of carbon capture and storage technology in the fiscal year 2010 Budget. Throughout the upcoming debate I will continue to fight to ensure that clean coal is included in the national strategy to reduce carbon emissions, and that affordable electricity and assistance to ratepayer programs remain available. It is of great importance to me that American families are not left behind as the country addresses the challenge of global warming.
As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I am also closely monitoring international negotiations leading up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen this December. I believe that a global agreement is necessary to alleviate rising energy prices, to transform the world economy, and to protect our national security.
If done properly, our national global warming policy will reverse the global environmental impacts of man-made greenhouse gas emissions while cultivating new clean energy jobs, re-energizing the manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania, and revitalizing the national economy. Please be assured that I will keep your views in mind as I continue to work with my colleagues in the Senate to develop climate legislation that will help Pennsylvania’s workers and economy.
Again, thank you for sharing your thoughts with me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future about this or any other matter of importance to you.
If you have access to the Internet, I encourage you to visit my web site, http://casey.senate.gov. I invite you to use this online office as a comprehensive resource to stay up-to-date on my work in Washington, request assistance from my office or share with me your thoughts on the issues that matter most to you and to Pennsylvania.
United States Senator