In the days since Senators John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced their energy and climate bill proposal, unions, industry groups and other stakeholders have continued to express their views that span an entire spectrum of opinions.
Among powerful unions, the United Steelworkers has praised the bill for its provisions to limit carbon "leakage," i.e. reduce incentives for production of goods to move to countries that fail to address global climate change.
Public Service Enterprise Group, a publicly traded energy company, has expressed a similar opinion, with its representatives stating that the proposal has the potential to protect consumers and provide the regulatory and legislative certainty needed "to unleash investment and create jobs."
They added that the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico underscores the importance of a comprehensive energy policy that achieves fuel diversity and "puts a price on carbon."
However, the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association appeared to be alarmed by the proposed carbon mandates. Its Executive Vice President and general counsel Gregory M. Scott stressed that carbon reduction mandates won’t have any impact on climate change because they apply only to vehicles, power plants, refineries and manufacturing facilities in the United States and ignore the soaring carbon dioxide emissions from rapidly industrializing countries.
"The draconian carbon reduction targets and timetables in this bill would trigger destructive change in America’s economic climate," Scott said, adding that "this would add billions of dollars in energy costs for American families and businesses, destroy the jobs of millions of American workers and make our nation more dependent on foreign energy sources."