Tennessee Well-Served by Corker and Alexander
Having just returned from Washington, D.C. with a group of twelve business leaders from Tennessee to advocate for comprehensive climate and energy legislation, I am continually amazed at the process we have in our country for being able to do just that. Our Tennessee group joined with similar business groups from twenty other states to talk about what we feel is the next real “revolution” in our economy, clean energy business. We listened to DOE Secretary Chu and Commerce Secretary Locke give impassioned remarks about the need for comprehensive climate and energy legislation and to S.C. Senator Lindsey Graham express concern that the Senate would pass some “half-assed” energy only bill. Fascinating perspectives from all of them.
Then when all fourteen of us sat down with our two Senators, Corker and Alexander, one at a time, we were equally impressed with their knowledge of the issue. Corker has certainly done his homework on energy and climate issues, having traveled to Greenland, Brazil and Europe studying climate concerns. While he would like to see some kind of tax on carbon, he abhors the “trade” part of cap and trade and feels equally strong about allocations that might be set by the government.
Senator Alexander, most certainly a strong advocate for clean air, has introduced two bills dealing with energy issues. One bill, introduced along with Democrat Virginia Senator Webb, calls for building more nuclear plants, investing in electric cars and more research and development. Another bill, again with a Democrat Senator Carper, would cap nitrous oxides, sulphurous oxides and mercury that are emitted from burning coal. It didn’t address greenhouse gases.
While neither Senator would commit to voting for any of the comprehensive climate and energy bills currently being discussed, they certainly can be applauded for their knowledge of the issue and their willingness to sit down with us and have an open, meaningful dialogue. At times all of us get frustrated with our government and our elected representatives. We think they don’t listen to us taxpayers and are only concerned with their own reelections. For many who serve us, that is true.
Speaking for the group of us who spent two intriguing days walking the halls of Congress, Tennessee is definitely well-served by our two Senators Corker and Alexander. They are smart, engaged, willing to listen and well-prepared on the issues. I’m proud to say I voted for both.