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Dem Witnesses Mum on House-passed Cap-and-Tax Bill


Washington, D.C.- During a hearing today of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Democratic Gov. Bill Ritter (D-CO), when pressed during an exchange with Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), refused to endorse the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade legislation.  Ritter's refusal is a retreat from his previous endorsement of cap-and-trade in 2007-and comes in the wake of a voter backlash across the country against the bill.  Along with Ritter, the Governors Gregoire (D-WA) and Corzine (D-NJ) remained silent on Waxman-Markey. 

 "Based on the widespread public backlash against the Waxman-Markey bill, I am not surprised that Gov. Ritter refused to endorse the bill," Sen. Inhofe said. "And if you read the testimony of the majority witnesses, Waxman-Markey is nowhere to be found.  That's because this bill is the largest tax increase in American history, and they want nothing to do with it."

 The Inhofe-Ritter exchange follows:

Inhofe: "With those two economic factors [oil shale development and loss of farm income under Waxman Markey] in Colorado, are you here supporting Waxman-Markey today?"

Ritter:  "Here's what I support, I support a national energy policy that's married to a national climate policy that gets at these goals that we have for greenhouse gas reductions.  And I believe that if you do that, that there will some vehicle that may not look exactly like Waxman-Markey, particularly after the Senate finishes its work.  But I very much support climate legislation that is joined with a national energy policy to get us to the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals that are set for 2050."