So said John McCain on the Senate floor yesterday on March 19, 2009.
The Arizona senator also observed that the Obama administration isn’t planning on doing anything about it except collect taxes in its name. (We’ll be counting on McCain to call the present cap-and-trade bill “the Obama Energy Tax” going forward.) He went on to call out the president’s hypocritical happy talk on nuclear energy.
Madam President, I come to the floor to discuss for a few minutes with my colleague from South Carolina the issue of climate change.
We all know the budget will be forthcoming. We already understand there will be some $650 billion included in the budget for general revenues that would go as revenues from climate — here it is: $646 billion over 8 years. According to some aides to the administration, it could be as much as $2 trillion. Remarkable.
What we have done is we have gone from an attempt to address the issue of climate change through cap and trade to just generating $680 billion or $2 trillion without a trace of bipartisanship, without any consultation, without discussions. What we have done on the issue of climate change, by basically funneling $680-some billion, is we have destroyed any chance of bipartisanship, and the administration is proposing a plan which will have a crippling effect in a bad economy on, particularly, parts of the country and lower income residents in the South and Midwest.
First of all, if we are going to do cap and trade, we should have generous allowances for people who are now operating under certain greenhouse gas emission conditions.
Second of all, any money, any revenues that are gained through cap and trade clearly should not go to just “general revenues.” Any funding should go directly to the development of technologies which will then reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That has to be a fundamental principle. So the administration, in this budget, is basically using it as just a revenue raiser.
By the way, the entire budget contains no references to nuclear power, except striking funds for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, for which the utilities – passing it on to the ratepayers — have paid somewhere between $8 billion and $13 billion for Yucca Mountain to be used as a spent nuclear fuel repository. So it is remarkable.
The Secretary of Energy told me in a hearing in the Energy Committee: Yucca Mountain is finished. I said: What about reprocessing? Can’t do that either.
So here you have nuclear power plants — there are 120 of them operating in the United States of America today — and we cannot reprocess and we cannot store. So what do we do? We either keep them in pools or “solidification” outside of nuclear powerplants all over America — clearly, a threat to the Nation’s security.
Let me say to my colleagues, I am proud of my record on climate change. I have been all over the world, and I have seen climate change. I know it is real, and I will be glad to continue this debate with my colleagues and people who do not agree with that. I believe climate change is real.
The rest here.
UPDATE: The McCain staff kindly e-mailed to let us know that the page linked above was incorrectly identified on their website as having been posted yesterday. The senator gave no floor statements on cap-and-trade yesterday, and I apologize for passing on his website’s error.
The most recent floor statement listed on Senator McCain’s website under the “Energy and Environment” category was from January of this year on the topic of the Rosemont copper mine, expressing the senator’s intention to balance environmental concerns with the need for jobs in Arizona. You might also notice that there’s little sign of concern for cap-and-trade since the Climategate scandal broke.
Gov. Jan Brewer announced that Arizona would pull out of the Western Climate Initiative’s regional cap-and-trade scheme on February 10. It’s good to see Arizonans coming to their senses on the job-killing effort to tax and ration energy. Here’s to hoping Senator McCain is among them.