Cornyn says 'no' to Dems' energy tax

June 6, 2010 at 12:22 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 6 (UPI) -- Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Sunday he found some common ground in an energy bill offered by Democrats but not when it comes to a new energy tax.

In an appearance on ABC's "This Week," Cornyn said there were "positive steps" in legislation offered by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, Ind-Conn.

"The acknowledgment that we can't completely cut off ourselves from domestic sources of oil and gas. That we need to explore nuclear power. That's certainly an important part of the overall picture," Cornyn said. "But where I disagree with them is that we need to tax the American consumer and the American business at a time when -- with an energy tax -- a new energy tax, when unemployment is at 10 percent.

"You know, if we do that then we're going to kill a lot of jobs that currently exist.

"So we need to be very careful here. I think rather than try to hit a grand slam home run, I'd like to work with Senator Kerry and others to try to do -- you know, hit some singles and develop nuclear power, battery technology that will help us deal with our environmental concerns. And then let's look to divert more of our demand to natural gas, which we have in plentiful supply."

Kerry, also appearing on the show, said he was "delighted" to hear Cornyn's willingness to work with Democrats "to put America on the course to true energy independence and self-reliance and to begin to wean ourselves from our addiction to oil."

"China, India, Germany, Japan, other countries are using American discovered technologies in solar and wind, and they're rushing them to the marketplace," Kerry said. "The United States is losing a major economic transformational moment. Until we begin to do something -- you know, since 9/11, we now actually import more oil than we did before 9/11."

"It's insulting to common sense."

He said a comprehensive energy policy that prices carbon will mean "less pollution, better health, better national security, better competitiveness, increased ability to provide our own national energy policy, and we will create millions of jobs.

"But let me tell you, you know, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams and Babe Ruth never stepped up to bat in the World Series and said, 'I want to try to hit a single.'"

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