U.S. Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan today voted against what they described as costly and impractical “Green New Deal,” a resolution introduced in the House by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), and in the Senate by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA).
Murkowski, who chairs the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and serves on the Appropriations Committee, spoke on the Senate floor in advance of the vote, turning her remarks toward the more practical, pragmatic steps Congress can take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Murkowski emphasized areas where Congress has made progress in supporting policies to reduce emissions: increased funding for the research and development of clean technologies, expanding the tax credit for carbon capture, utilization, and sequestration, and passage of bills to promote more emissions-free hydropower and nuclear energy.
She called for reducing domestic and global emissions by developing clean resources, including renewables, and announced plans to introduce a bipartisan bill for advanced nuclear reactor concepts.
Murkowski asked her fellow lawmakers to commit to bipartisan solutions that support innovation and promote efficiency.
“The only way we are going to be moving is if we move together,” she said. “That’s what we’ve got to do here in Congress. We’ve got to take these policies that can keep us moving to lower emissions, to address the reality of climate change, to do so all the while that we are recognizing that we’ve got an economy that we need to keep strong, that we have vulnerable people that we need to protect, that we have an environment that we all care about—Republicans and Democrats. And it’s not just the environment in our states or our country, but it’s our global environment. How we’re working forward, together, is a priority— or should be a priority for us all. My hope is we get beyond the rhetoric, the high-fired rhetoric and we get to practical, pragmatic, bipartisan solutions.”
Sullivan linked the health of Alaskans to the responsible resource development in their state.
“As Alaskans can attest, there is a strong correlation between poverty, the lack of economic opportunity, and the health of our citizens,” said Senator Sullivan. “Responsible resource development historically has lifted whole communities out of poverty and lengthened life expectancy.
“I cannot support a proposal that would place such an absurdly large tax burden on American taxpayers and, at the same time, seek to vanquish whole industries that so many Alaskans and Americans rely on to support their families. I thank my colleagues who had the courage today to show where they stand on this truly radical effort to upend our country and its economy,” he said.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell called the resolution up for a vote today, and it failed 0-57. Forty-three senators in the Democratic minority, including the dozen senators who originally co-sponsored the resolution, voted “present,” rather than giving the resolution any credence.