Fairbanks Daily News-Miner: Sen. Lisa Murkowski warns of climate bill’s cost

FAIRBANKS — Any legislation designed to stop global warming by reducing fossil fuel emissions must avoid causing drastic increases in the cost of energy, Sen. Lisa Murkowski told a committee Tuesday.

Murkowski spoke at a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing on economic costs of climate change legislation. Murkowski is the top-ranked Republican member of the committee. The committee’s Democratic leadership has scheduled several hearings in coming weeks on the effects of placing a nationwide cap on greenhouse gas emissions while allowing companies to buy and sell rights to release specific amounts of such gases.

Murkowski said a recently approved House bill does not contain the necessary economic protection. “Instead of lightening the load, it asks Americans to shoulder more, oblivious to how difficult that will be,” she said. “... It would take money that many Americans don’t have, impose prices many can’t afford and destroy the jobs our country so desperately needs.”

She said climate change should be addressed in a “transparent and economically sound manner.” Murkowski co-sponsored a cap-and-trade bill with Sen. Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M., in the previous congressional session that contained a “safety valve” designed to prevent the per-ton price of carbon dioxide emissions from rising above a certain level.

By:  Originally published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner on September 15, 2009