I recently wrote a note to Sen. Scott Brown, the newly elected U.S. Senator (R) from Massachusetts, in support of the climate bill and new energy policy. As a resident of Massachusetts, I believe in the importance of having my voice heard but I never expected or desired any kind of reply. I was pleasantly surprised however when I received the following letter in response to my note. In the letter, Senator Brown outlines his personal views regarding climate change and energy policy.
It was nice to hear the freshly elected Senator’s stance on energy policy before he becomes a seasoned Washington veteran. Only time will tell whether Senator Brown decides to support a clean energy future via the American Power Act. UPDATE: On June 10th, 2010, Senator Brown decided to ignore local and national pressure and voted in favor of the Markowski Resolution, a bill that proposed blocking EPA oversight of carbon pollution. The resolution did not pass, but it begs the question: is a clean energy future really in Senator Brown’s interests?
Dear Mr. Kharitonenkov,
Thank you for contacting me with your concerns about climate change. As always, I value the input of my constituents on all issues and appreciate hearing from you.
Reducing America’s greenhouse gas emissions — and especially the pollutants that pose the greatest harm to both people and our environment — is clearly of concern to me. To that end, I support proposals that will help our nation make a transition to a cleaner economy.
Since joining the Senate in February, I have worked across the aisle with Senator Tom Carper (D-DE) in cosponsoring a bill that sharply limits the emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxide, and mercury from coal-fired power plants. I have also joined with Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) to create legislation that establishes the Home Star home energy conservation rebate program, which will increase energy efficiency in our buildings and create jobs.
Further, I believe the United States must develop a diverse range of clean energy technologies, including solar, wind, geothermal, and nuclear, provided serious local concerns are addressed. I support using federal tax incentives to drive the development and deployment of these technologies.
While I am in favor of taking steps to reduce our reliance on oil from the Middle East, allowing additional domestic drilling is only part of the solution. I believe we need a comprehensive energy policy that promotes fuel efficient vehicles, alternative transportation fuels, and better mass transit. Especially in light of the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, we must also ensure that any domestic drilling is done in an environmentally sound manner. We must determine the cause of this spill and put in place safeguards so that it does not happen again.
I have come to the Senate, open to new ideas and proposals to addressing pollution and threats to our environment and climate. I am reviewing a number of proposals in this area. With our economy just beginning to recover, however, I cannot support any bill or policy that significantly raises taxes or increases consumer energy costs. We must seek to address essential environmental concerns without sacrificing the economic health of our nation.
To that end, I believe that if we are going to take any dramatic actions in imposing a hard cap on carbon dioxide emissions, we must ensure participation by other high-emitting nations, such as China and India, so that well-intentioned U.S. efforts won’t just send jobs overseas where low standards could cause even greater harm to our global environment. We need to encourage nations to tackle these problems in a way that will have the biggest impact and not unfairly cost U.S. jobs.
Again, thank you for sharing your comments with me. I will keep your views in mind when the Senate considers climate related legislation. Should you have any additional questions or comments, please feel free to contact me or visit my website at http://scottbrown.senate.gov.
Scott P. Brown
United States Senator