Legislation fails to garner support to achieve final vote
Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo said today that the Lieberman-Warner Climate Security Act was incomplete in its approach and too expensive to garner the support it needed in the Senate. Crapo, along with many of his colleagues from both sides of the aisle, found the legislation would raise energy costs too high for consumers.
"I don't believe that legislation which could raise energy prices by almost 140% is what we need at a time when we are already paying record prices for electric bills and at the pump," Crapo said. Action on the legislation was halted in a cloture vote, which is a procedural move to end debate and bring the bill to a final vote. Cloture actions require 60 votes to succeed. The final vote on the bill was 48 to 36. Crapo voted with 35 other Senators to continue debate on the legislation.
Crapo said the bill should have included more incentives for clean-burning energy technology like nuclear power production. He added Idaho and neighboring states also did not receive appropriate recognition for clean hydropower energy already produced in the Northwest. "Because 80% of our electricity is provided by non-emitting hydropower and wind, Idaho citizens currently have one of the lowest carbon footprints per capita in the country," he said. "This bill fails to recognize that fact and could severely impact the economy of our state. As we are one of the fastest-growing states, we need to ensure that we continue to have access to affordable energy to meet the needs of Idahoans."
Crapo noted the Kyoto Agreement on climate change was not ratified by the Senate because it did not require all nations to abide by the same rules. He said some countries would have to do more than others to reduce economic activities.
"Before the United States commits to any widescale reduction of carbon emissions, it is critical to ensure that we have the technology to do so in a way that will not hurt American families and industry," Crapo added. "A better idea is to refine this approach and keep working on the issue and that is what the Senate today decided."