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Article posted Jun 13 2010, 4:13 PM Category: Politics/Corruption Source: Print

McConnell Charges That ‘Major Part’ of Democrats’ Cap-Trade Bill ‘Essentially Written by BP’

By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

( – Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that BP, the energy company responsible for the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, helped craft the bill proposed by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) that would tax businesses for carbon emissions and raise the cost of fuel for American consumers.

“The problem for Democrats is that debating the Democrat cap-and-trade bill might not fit neatly into the White House messaging plan since it’s been widely reported that a major part, a major part of the Kerry-Lieberman bill was essentially written by BP,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Wednesday. “Let me say that again. A major part of the Kerry-Lieberman bill was written by BP. This is clearly an inconvenient fact.”

McConnell made his comments at a time when Congress is debating a “compromise” global warming bill introduced in May by Kerry and Lieberman in the wake of the deep-water oil rig explosion in April that killed 11 men and has dumped thousands of crude oil into Gulf Coast waters.

McConnell also charged that Democrats want to “piggy back” the Kerry-Lieberman bill into legislation being considered to mitigate future oil spills.

“At the same time as Americans wonder when this gusher will ever be plugged, we hear word that the administration and my good friend the majority leader [Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.] want to piggy back their controversial new national energy tax--also known as cap and trade--to an oil spill response bill that could and should be an opportunity for true bipartisan cooperation,” McConnell said.

“So here again, we see the administration using a crisis--in this case the disaster in the gulf--as an opportunity to muscle through Congress another deeply unpopular bill that has profound implications for small business and struggling households,” McConnell said.

“Look, if the health care debate taught us anything, anything at all, it’s that Americans want these kinds of massive bills to be debated out in the open,” said McConnell, “not rushed past them on a holiday or tucked into a must-pass bill aimed at alleviating the kind of suffering we’re seeing in the Gulf.”

“An administration that seems to spend most of its time coming up with new ways to show how angry it is at BP, is pushing a proposal that BP actually helped write,” said McConnell. “I can’t understand it and I don’t think the American people will understand why that it makes sense to respond to the BP oil spill by imposing a gas-tax increase on the American people that was advocated by BP.”

When asked by about McConnell’s remark that a major part of the Kerry-Lieberman bill was essentially written by BP, Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) said, “I believe that’s true. In fact, it’s kind of funny, the Democrats try to say the Republicans are the product of big oil and all that.”

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