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This in response to the piece written by Jim Adkins (July 13 guest column "Baron Hill and Cap and Trade.") It's time for an honest discussion on the American Clean Energy and Security Act rather than a partisan rant. I'd like to point out a few facts about the bill.
First off, the energy bill is about protecting our national security and creating jobs. I, for one, am tired of exporting billions of dollars each year to the Middle East where al Qaeda terrorists use it against us.
I'd rather we keep the money at home, in the USA, and add jobs that can't be shipped overseas from this country. Any bill that is predicted to create more than 38,000 jobs in Indiana in an economic sector growing 2.5 times the rate of traditional jobs, such as this bill does, is a pretty good start to jumpstarting our current economy.
The original version of the energy bill was not viable for Indiana and Baron Hill said so.
His biggest concern was the impact the legislation would have on electric consumers and he fought to add provisions, which make the bill passed by the House acceptable for Hoosiers.
Hill fought for lowering the renewable energy standard to an attainable level and allocating 90 percent of emission allowances to regulated entities like utility companies. This is a big departure from the original bill, which called for an auctioning of allowances and would have raised rates.
Hill also fought for clean coal technology. Those provisions provide incentives for new technology development and implementation, such as carbon capture and sequestration, so that Indiana can continue to safely use fuel sources like coal and become a leader in the industry.
He also fought to add a waste-to-energy provision as a source to reach the renewable energy standard.
The assertion that the bill is a tax is false. Several independent reviews of the legislation have found that the impact would be negligible, and eventually would be completely offset by cost-saving implements. Provisions are also in place to protect jobs and manufacturing industries. Companies will receive enough allowances to cover their emissions and possible indirect costs, incentivizing them to be energy efficient and sell off surplus credits.
Let's also stop thinking that Hill is the only supporter of the measure. The list of supporters includes companies such as Alcoa, Caterpillar, John Deere, Duke Energy, Ford, General Electric, PepsiCo, Shell and Siemens. More than 22,000 small-business owners also delivered a petition to Congress calling for passage of the bill. Even religious organizations such as the Conference of Catholic Bishops and the United Methodist Church support it.
Hill even came to Perry County and discussed local concerns over the legislation with members of the Chamber of Commerce and local leaders. Those members thanked Hill for his work to moderate the legislation.
Lastly, for anyone to assert that President Obama was against the bill or deviously trying to bankrupt the coal industry is a misrepresentation.
It's time we stopped being scared by fear mongers and recognize that Hill is doing a good job for us.
Watts lives in Tell City.