Kerry-Boxer and Refining: Driving Another U.S. Industry Overseas

The most compelling, forceful testimony we saw from yesterday’s Senate Environment and Public Works’ hearing on the Boxer-Kerry cap-and-trade bill came from Bill Klesse, CEO, President and Chairman of the Valero Energy Corporation. Klesse was testifying on behalf of the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association. Excerpt (with links added):

The Energy Policy Research Foundation reported this month that even before domestic refiners face rising costs from carbon emissions, they will face a higher cost structure and rising international competition that threatens 2 million of the current 17.5 million barrels a day of domestic operable capacity with permanent closure….

The objective of this Congress and the Administration should be to seek new means for reducing emissions without causing harm to the domestic economy. The approaches being discussed in Washington are entirely counterproductive to lifting our economy out of the recession, reducing the staggering national unemployment rate, and even reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. S. 1733, like its House companion, H.R. 2454, would only exacerbate our current challenges by forcing U.S refiners to further reduce or even close operations in the face of rising costs and unrealistic emissions reduction targets.

Bottom line?

At stake are millions of American jobs, our national energy security, and the health of our
economy. In the midst of a severe recession and fears of a jobless recovery, we must stay focused on these three concerns, particularly in the face of a competitive global marketplace that quickly could compromise our nation’s stronghold in the energy industry.

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