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Sens. Kerry and Boxer to Palin: Get Real on Energy

By Dan C. Weil   |   Friday, 24 Jul 2009 11:23 AM

Senate Democrats Barbara Boxer and John Kerry, in a Washington Post op-ed piece Friday, defend clean energy legislation from criticism by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, and said they want "to put facts ahead of fiction and real debate ahead of rhetorical bomb-throwing."

The column is in response to a Post opinion piece by Palin last week, which blasted the Obama administration’s cap and trade plan. She calls it “an enormous threat to our economy.”

In June the House narrowly passed a bill aimed at addressing global warming that would require companies to acquire permits for the carbon emissions they release into the atmosphere. The House bill would mandate a 17 percent cut in emissions below 2005 levels by 2020.

The Senate is expected to unveil similar legislation sponsored by Boxer and Kerry in September.

Palin wrote that the plan will boost unemployment. “Job losses are so certain under this new cap-and-tax plan that it includes a provision accommodating newly unemployed workers from the resulting dried-up energy sector.”

Palin also says the poor will pay more for energy under the plan.

“Even Warren Buffett, an ardent Obama supporter, admitted that under the cap-and-tax scheme, ‘poor people are going to pay a lot more for electricity,’" she wrote.

Boxer and Kerry take issue with that view.

“The truth is, clean energy legislation doesn't make energy scarcer or more expensive; it works to find alternative solutions to our costly dependence on foreign oil and provides powerful incentives to pursue cutting-edge clean energy technologies,” they write.

As for job losses, “Wrong. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and American Clean Energy and Security legislation will create significant employment opportunities across the country in a broad array of sectors linked to the clean energy economy,” the senators write.

“Studies at the federal level and by states have demonstrated clean energy job creation. A report by the Center for American Progress calculated that $150 billion in clean energy investments would create more than 1.7 million domestic and community-based jobs that can't be shipped overseas.”

Palin isn’t the only one opposed to cap and trade. “This is just going to destroy a lot of jobs,” financial author Stephen Moore told CNBC.

“I call this cap and trade bill the India and China redevelopment act, because all those jobs are going to move there.”

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