Senate Passes Hagel-Pryor Amendment to Address Climate Change; Measure Combats Global Warming Domestically and Internationally
WASHINGTON D.C. - Senator Mark Pryor today said the Senate passed his and Senator Chuck Hagel's (R-NE) amendment to the energy bill that provides an innovative approach to addressing climate change, also known as global warming.
Pryor said he and Hagel chose a market-driven, technology-based approach versus a one-size-fits-all mandate as a first step towards addressing climate change. The bipartisan amendment, which passed by a vote of 66 to 29, authorizes the federal government to make financial commitments for research and development and technology through tax credits, direct loans and other forms of financial assistance.
The Senator said a wide variety of greenhouse gas reducing technologies would be eligible for tax credits or loans, ranging from renewable energy projects, lower emission transportation, carbon sequestration and other energy efficiency enhancements. His amendment would establish a Climate Coordinating Committee and Climate Credit Board to assess, approve and fund projects; and it directs the Secretary of Energy to lead an inter-agency process to implement a national climate change strategy.
"Climate change is not a new issue to the Senate, but years of debate have led to a stalemate on policy and too little has been done to address the problem. This amendment moves us in the right direction by making needed investments in technologies and research that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions," Pryor said. "By passing this measure we encourage American ingenuity, international partnerships and, above all, progress."
Pryor said the amendment also seeks to encourage developing countries to adopt U.S. technologies. It would provide the Secretary of State and the U.S. Trade Representative with new authorities to work with developing countries on deployment of demonstration projects and technologies that reduce greenhouse gases. Additionally, Pryor said his amendment would establish an inter-agency working group to promote the exports of cleaner technologies and practices.
"The United States is a contributor to climate change and we must take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but we cannot prevent global warming on our own," Pryor said. "This amendment ensures that we are proactive in engaging other countries, sharing both our expertise and technology to prevent climate change problems from worsening."