Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tennesee Senator Bob Corker

Very complimentary article from the Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes on Tennesee's freshman Senator Bob Corker. Corker won a narrow victory over Harold Ford in the 2006 campaign. Corker's standing in the Senate has risen appreciably as he has concentrated on three key issues, fiscal matters, healthcare and energy, including cap and trade proposals to deal with 'climate change'. Towards that end, he has traveled to Europe to get first hand accounts of the European system, which has failed fairly miserably, and to Greenland to view melting glaciers, which he discounted after recalling that Greenland was settled by the Norse during a period in which potatoes and other crops were grown there - at that time, the name was in no way a misnomer.

"His goal became a policy hat trick: to deal with global warming while achieving energy security and continued economic growth. "There are some rubs" among the three goals, he concedes.

He argues that "our fossil fuels are a bridge to the future." Exploiting the oil and natural gas reserves offshore and underneath federal lands over the next several decades will provide time for alternative sources of energy to be developed--without harming the country in the meantime."

In the recent cap and trade debate in the Senate, Corker took a lead role. AS barnes puts it:

"On the cap and trade bill, he offered three amendments (which were never voted on as the bill died prematurely) and infuriated the legislation's chief proponent, Boxer, in the process.

One amendment required the billions from auctioning off carbon allowances to be rebated to taxpayers. Otherwise, the money would be handed out to special interests in "the mother of all earmarks," Corker said. Boxer took umbrage. "I resent the senator from Tennessee saying our bill is a slush fund," she said.

Another Corker amendment barred carbon allowances from being handed out "to entities that have nothing to do with reducing carbon emissions." His third amendment prohibited so-called "international offsets" as a way to comply with an American carbon cap.

Corker's mastery of cap and trade proved to be eye-catching. Lobbyists on all sides began to pay attention to his words. John Pemberton of the Southern Company, a utility, says it's clear Corker "knows how to dig into an issue and learn it." "

Anyone in the Senate that can frustrate California's most liberal Senator has got to be a person to pay attention to and possibly contribute. Hats off to Senator Corker for some excellent work.

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