John Kerry had a letter in today’s Washington Post:

Utilities Must Do Their Part To Fight Climate Change
Wednesday, July 4, 2007; A14

In his June 22 op-ed, “An Apollo Program for Climate Change,” David Sokol, the chief executive of a major electric utility, rightly invoked the vision of President John F. Kennedy in calling for an ambitious program to fight climate change. But he wrongly argued that American taxpayers alone should have to dig into their pockets (through a per-kilowatt fee that utilities would no doubt pass along to consumers, plus federal matching funds) for what utility companies should already be doing with record profits — investing in clean energy and research and development.

It’s dishonest for energy companies to complain about low levels of public funding for R&D when the industry’s own contributions toward such research have sunk to historic lows even as profits have soared. Private investment in research is lower than it was in 1975.

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The bipartisan energy bill passed in the Senate makes important strides. But industry opposition killed two important proposals — a renewable-electricity standard and tax incentives for low-carbon energy production — that would have pushed us even closer to a responsible energy future. Many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle are committed to a bold policy for energy independence. Shouldn’t the industry do its part?

U.S. Senator (D-Mass.)

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