WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Tom Carper, top Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, released the following statement after voting against ending debate on the American Energy Innovation Act, legislation introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-W.V.). The cloture motion failed by 47-44.
“I appreciate the model of bipartisanship that has been demonstrated on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee by my friends and colleagues, Senators Lisa Murkowski and Joe Manchin. I also appreciate their good faith efforts over the last few days to find agreement to allow a vote on the amendment that Senator Kennedy and I filed to phase down climate super-pollutants known as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which is supported by nearly two-thirds of the Senate.
“The American Energy Innovation Act presents the Senate with a rare opportunity to legislate, and with that comes an even rarer opportunity to enact bipartisan policy that would meaningfully address climate change while supporting American workers and businesses.
“Senator Kennedy and I offered an amendment that would help avoid up to a half degree Celsius in global warming while saving U.S. consumers billions of dollars and creating 150,000 direct and indirect American jobs. It is a business-friendly climate amendment that is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and the environmental community.
“We were denied the opportunity to have an up-or-down vote on our amendment, a vote that we know would have been successful. By keeping debate on the Murkowski-Manchin bill alive, the Senate sent a strong message: it’s time for the United States to start phasing down HFCs.
“After working on this policy for more than a decade, we’ve come too far to give up now. I know my colleague, Senator Shaheen, would say the same of her energy efficiency amendment with Senator Portman. We should not have to choose between energy efficiency and phasing out HFCs—we should have an up-or-down vote on both of these amendments.
“I call on Majority Leader McConnell to hold a vote on both the Kennedy-Carper and Shaheen-Portman amendments, and proceed to consideration of the Murkowski-Manchin bill. These matters are meritorious and the Senate should consider them without delay.”