It's a work in progress, but GOP Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio says he's agreed with Democratic Sen. Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia on "legislative language" to spend up to $850 million over 15 years on capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions.
While many environmental activists deride the idea of "clean coal," Voinovich, Rockefeller and other lawmakers from states dependent on coal-generated electricity say it isn't possible to do away with using the material for power anytime soon. Thus, they say more research into capturing, storing and perhaps using carbon dioxide emissions is needed.
“We must protect manufacturing states that rely on coal for electricity, like my home state of Ohio which relies on coal for over 85 percent of its energy," Voinovich said.
“Our energy policy must have its foundation in protecting jobs and boosting our economy. Carbon capture and sequestration technology has the potential to grow our economy and move our energy policy in a positive direction,” Rockefeller said.
Stands on climate change legislation and so-called cap and trade plans to tax utilities and manufacturers that exceed emissions limits and give credits to ones that come in under limits tend to run along regional, not partisan lines, with coal-state lawmakers such as Voinovich and Rockefeller often banding together in bipartisan groups. Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown of Ohio also has been skeptical of cap and trade proposals.