Coalition urges the U.S. Senate to “put the interests of seniors, minorities the working poor first” by passing the Murkowski resolution
Washington, D.C. (May 24, 2010) — The Affordable Power Alliance (APA), a national coalition of seniors, minority and religious leaders, today commended the Missouri Legislature for passing a bipartisan resolution opposing cap-tax-and-trade legislation, and urged Congress to pass a bill by U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from imposing an regulatory carbon tax on tens of millions of senior citizens, minority families and the working poor.
“Missouri just passed a bipartisan bill calling on Congress to reject both federal climate legislation and the EPA’s unilateral attempt to control carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, power plants, refineries, factories and other facilities,” said Amy Noone Frederick, the new President of 60 Plus, which represents senior citizens who will be especially hard hit by these actions. “In doing so, Missouri is thankfully putting the interest of its citizens — and senior citizens in particular — ahead of the special interests in Washington pushing for a carbon tax. We commend them for their initiative, and we call upon Congress to heed Missouri’s call.”
“The ‘Show Me’ State is showing Congress the proper path forward on the climate issue, and that is to put the interests of senior citizens, minorities and the working poor first,” said Niger Innis, National Spokesman for the Congress of Racial Equality and co-chair of the APA, a coalition of religious, seniors and civil rights organizations concerned about the harmful effects of government policies on access to affordable, reliable energy.
The Missouri resolution is similar to U.S. Senate Resolution 26, introduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and U.S. House of Representatives Resolution 76, sponsored by Congressman Ike Skelton (D-MO).
“All three bills enjoy strong bipartisan support,” 60 Plus Chairman Jim Martin emphasized. “That’s as it should be, because we need to protect energy users, especially poor, minority and elderly households on low and fixed incomes, small businesses, blue collar workers, and the hospitals, schools and other institutions that serve them.”
Missouri relies on coal to generate over 80% of its electricity. As a result, Missouri consumers and businesses pay only half as much for electricity as California, New York and other states that get only 15% of their electricity from coal. Only 3% of the state’s electricity is generated by renewable sources, and most of that is hydroelectric, Frederick explained.
“That translates into reliable, affordable energy for Missouri’s factories and offices,” Frederick said, “and that means jobs, paychecks and countless other benefits. That’s why 60 Plus and the APA salute Congressman Skelton, Senator Murkowski and HCR 46’s chief sponsor, Representative Doug Funderburk, for their leadership in supporting the bipartisan resolutions.”
Supporters of Kerry-Lieberman and the EPA endangerment decision say the climate is changing and mankind is responsible in part for that change. “But that is not the issue,” Frederick said, “especially where the proposed federal actions would have such an enormous, negative impact on jobs, families, agriculture, tourism, hospitals, school districts and other sectors of the economy that depend on affordable energy.”
“The real issue is whether humans are the primary cause of unprecedented temperature and climate change disasters that would be prevented by slashing hydrocarbon use and carbon dioxide emissions,” Frederick added. “On that scientific opinion is sharply divided … too divided to justify the hasty, punitive actions contemplated by EPA, Senators Kerry and Lieberman, and the house-passed cap-and-trade bill.”
The Missouri Public Utility Alliance has calculated that family and business electric bills would increase more than 80% by 2030 under cap-and-trade – thousands of dollars per family – and costing Missouri numerous jobs in every sector of its economy. Gasoline prices would also skyrocket, Martin said.
“America is not facing an imminent climate disaster,” Martin emphasized. “We have time to think this through, have a real debate on the science and economics, and do the job right.”
“Those government actions would drive up the cost of energy, reduce its reliability, make it harder to heat and cool homes, make elderly people more susceptible to heat waves and cold snaps, and make it harder for low and middle class people to get to work, while forcing them to travel in smaller, lighter, more expensive, less safe cars,” Martin concluded.
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Amy Noone Frederick, President, 60 Plus Association, 703-807-2070
Jim Martin, Chairman, 60 Plus Association, 703-807-2070
Niger Innis, National Spokesman, Congress of Racial Equality, (702) 463-0768