How Senator Whitehouse Responded to a Constituent about Cap and Tax

You can always count on this man to blindly vote the party line, Rhode Island, even if it leads our nation’s economy to hell.

4 November 2009

Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts about the Clean Energy
Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733)
. I share your concerns about the economy and the financial hardship of rising energy prices.

As you know, in June of this year, the House of Representatives passed the
American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act. S. 1733, introduced in September by Senators Boxer and Kerry, builds on the foundation provided by
ACES. Both bills place a cap on carbon pollution that will help lessen America’s contribution to global climate change, improve the health of our citizens, strengthen our national security, and, most importantly, reinvigorate our economy by promoting investment in clean energy jobs on our shores.

In regard to your concerns about rising energy prices, I believe this legislation will help lower utility bills and save consumers money. Putting a cap on carbon pollution and investing in domestic energy production will stem the flow of hard-earned U.S. dollars sent overseas to purchase energy from other countries. Building a smarter electrical grid that transmits energy more cheaply and efficiently will improve the energy efficiency of our homes and businesses and establish the U.S. as a net exporter of clean energy technology. If we act now, America, and Rhode Island, can become a global leader in this field and profit from our wealth of innovation and creativity. If we don’t act quickly, we will miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity and cede the next great economic boom to other countries.

In summary, please bear in mind three facts I think are important as we
consider this issue: one, that comprehensive clean energy legislation will help
reduce our oil imports, which hemorrhage money out of our economy and cause national security risks; two, whenever polluters are allowed to pollute for
free, it distorts the market and hurts the public interest (and carbon is now as a matter of law a pollutant); and three, failure to act will create massive costs in America from climate changes and lost competitive advantage in clean energy technology.

I will continue to keep your views in mind as the Senate debates this important
issue. Thank you once again for contacting me. I hope you’ll stay in touch on
any issues of concern to you.

Sheldon Whitehouse
United States Senator

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