Feingold.Climate _ Energy Letter to Reid.March 12.2010 by enviroknow


Committee on the Budget
Committee on Foreign Relations
Committee on the Judiciary
Select Committee on Intelligence
Democratic Policy Committee
506 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-5323
(202) 224-1280 (TDD)
United States Senate
WASHINGTON, DC 20510-4904
March 12,2010
The Honorable Harry Reid
Senate Majority Leader
522 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Dear Majority Leader Reid:
In order to protect our environment, our economy, and our national security we need to combat
the immediate threat of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Addressing
climate change, while encouraging renewable energy and efficiency innovation, has the potential
to create millions of green jobs across the country.
Climate change is having a significant environmental impact on Wisconsin with possible
devastating economic consequences for our most important industries. Wisconsin's average
temperature is increasing, causing changes in the length of seasons and threatening the survival
of sensitive species. This alters growing seasons for our agriculture industry, could negatively
impact Wisconsin's forestry industry, and risks the overall health of ecosystems and natural
resources vital to our tourism industry.
Businesses are waiting for Congress to pass comprehensive climate change and energy
legislation in order to develop new industries and create green jobs. While industry waits for us
to act, our foreign competitors are quickly expanding to lead the renewable energy and energy
efficiency markets. By sending the right market signals and supporting the development of
existing technologies and development of new technologies to reduce emissions, we can keep
U.S. businesses competitive in the emerging carbon-conscious global marketplace.
In order to win my support, climate change legislation must be fair to Wisconsin, which
currently relies heavily on coal. In order to accomplish this, the legislation should include a fair
allowance allocation formula that focuses on utility emissions rather than sales. While the
citizens and ratepayers of Wisconsin are likely willing to shoulder our share, it isn't fair to our
citizens, business and ratepayers to ask us to subsidize other states or utilities.
Wisconsin is also home to many of America's manufacturers. Thanks to unfair trade
agreements, the industry is already struggling to compete against other countries in the global
marketplace. While the United States needs to limit emissions from all sectors - including the
manufacturing industry - imposing such limits without corresponding limits in other countries
would have a devastating effect on America's manufacturing industry. Thus, any climate change
legislation should contain border adjustment mechanisms and other measures to ensure that U.S.
manufacturers compete on a level playing field with their foreign competitors.
Finally, I oppose nuclear loan guarantees, which shift the risk of loan defaults to tax payers. The
nuclear industry is a mature industry that does not need to be propped up by the taxpayers. In
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addition, it does not make sense to expand nuclear energy production when we still do not have a
national strategy to deal with the waste. Wisconsin ratepayers regularly express frustration at
having to pay for on-site storage of nuclear waste in the absence of a federal repository. For
these reasons, I would have serious concerns if nuclear energy expansion is included in
comprehensive climate change or energy legislation.
If we do this right, we have an opportunity to pass climate change and energy legislation that will
reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance our security, create jobs here in America and help
American businesses gain a competitive advantage developing new renewable energy and energy
efficiency technologies.
Russell D. Feingold
United States Senate
Cc: Senator John F. Kerry
Senator Lindsey Graham
Senator Joseph L. Lieberman

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