John Kerry makes the case for an energy bill in the wake of the disastrous oil spill


Kerry, to his credit, said he didn't want to go incremental, and kept up the baseball metaphor.


But let me tell you, you know, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams and Babe Ruth never stepped up to bat in the World Series and said, I want to try to hit a single. The fact is, the United States right now is behind in an enormous challenge globally where China, India, and others are spending billions of dollars to take the discoveries that we made, and they're taking them to the marketplace.


And regarding those taxes that Senator Cornyn alluded to, Senator Kerry?  Not true, the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate said:


"Now there is no tax in our bill. Unfortunately, there are some folks who call anything and everything that's dreamed up in Washington a tax. There is no tax. What we do is have a system where those who are polluters in a country have a requirement to reduce their pollution."


Last week Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Senate will take up "comprehensive clean energy" legislation next month. In a letter he sent out to heads of 8 different committees, Reid said the bill will “push harder for the production of affordable alternative fuels and advanced vehicles."


But would the Kerry-Lieberman bill be part of what Reid brings up?  Maybe not.  As BloombergBusinessWeek reported last week,


Today’s letter is “largely in response to the situation in the Gulf,” and whether Kerry and Lieberman’s climate-change plan will be part of the legislation is “still to be addressed,” Jim Manley, Reid’s spokesman, said in an e-mail.

As American sit slack jawed watching horrific photos of damaged birds being cleaned as more oil permeates the Gulf of Mexico, the question about whether the country can use the catastrophe as a catalyst to seriously change how we get our energy was promulgated Sunday morning by Massachusetts Democratic U.S. Senator John Kerry.

Appearing on ABC's This Week, Kerry, who is the co-sponsor of a major bill on climate change and energy conservation in the Senate, said

'Here's what's important. Not to be throwing the blame around, but to put America on the course to true energy independence and self-reliance and to begin to wean ourselves from our addiction to oil. And the Congress has staring it in the face an opportunity to catch up to the rest of the world. China, India, Germany, Japan, other countries are using American discovered technologies in solar and wind, and they're rushing them to the marketplace. The United States is losing a major economic transformational moment. Until we begin to do something — you know, since 9/11, we now actually import more oil than we did before 9/11. It's insulting to common sense."

The other guest on This Week, Texas Republican Senator John Cornyn, said he thought there were a few good things in the legislation, but threw in the magic words "tax" as a way to essentially, kill any support for it.

"You know, if we do that then we're going to kill a lot of jobs that currently exist.....

So we need to be very careful here. I think rather than try to hit a grand slam home run, I'd like to work with Senator Kerry and others to try to do — you know, hit some singles and develop nuclear power, battery technology that will help us deal with our environmental concerns. And then let's look to divert more of our demand to natural gas, which we have in plentiful supply. It's American, and it's much less of an emissions problem than other forms of energy."

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