The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Starting Over in the Senate

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 4, 2009

As the Senate Finance Committee continues its series of hearings on climate change, it is encouraging that senators are considering issues related to the distribution of free allowances under a cap-and-trade system.

Senators should understand that copying the ill-conceived House approach will not contribute to a comprehensive energy policy that creates jobs, grows the economy and addresses climate change. The House approach places a disproportionate burden on all consumers of gasoline, diesel fuel, heating oil, jet fuel, propane and other petroleum products.

The House approach relies on a flawed distribution of free allowances that picks winners and losers as the nation transitions to low-carbon sources. The House plan would hold refiners responsible for 44 percent of emissions but only allocate to them 2.25 percent of allowances.

The Senate should start over and design a system that is equitable as well as economically and environmentally efficient. It should take into consideration the huge burden placed on consumers and the transportation industries, as well as encourage the use of low-emission natural gas. Going forward, any consideration of cap-and-trade allocations should include input from the users and producers of transportation fuels, including the oil and natural gas industry.

Visit our Action Center and let your voice be heard. Tell Congress to produce a bill that does not harm the economy and includes a more balanced approach to transportation fuels and natural gas.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.