On Thursday, U.S. Senator John Barrasso joined other Republican senators, writing to the Chairwoman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley, asking the body to refrain from imposing a "climate change litmus test."
The senators specifically requested the CEQ not issue an opinion requiring federal agencies to consider greenhouse gas emissions produced outside of the United States by American exports.
In their joint letter, the senators cite an amendment adopted by the Senate during recent budget discussions. They say by passing this amendment with bipartisan support, the body made clear that it does not support imposing a climate change litmus test on American exports.
Additionally, the Republican senators describe in the letter CEQ guidance would discourage job creation and threaten future American export projects.
Here are some of statements taken from their letter to Sutley:
“Ms. Sutley’s rejection of clean coal undermines your clean coal task force, the Interagency Task Force on Carbon Capture and Storage. It also calls into question your Administration’s commitment to America’s most affordable, reliable, and abundant energy resource.
“At the National Environmental Justice Advisory Committee (NEJAC) meeting on July 28, 2010, Ms. Sutley said, ‘Other people have labeled it ‘clean coal’…I don’t know if I would necessarily concede that that is real.’ In addition to ignoring existing technology, these comments directly contradict your Presidential Memorandum establishing a clean coal task force. The Presidential Memorandum states: ‘Charting a path toward clean coal is essential to achieving my Administration’s goals of providing clean energy, supporting American jobs, and reducing emissions of carbon pollution.’ Ms. Sutley is a member of the clean coal task force. It is hard to believe that an Administration official that publicly rejects clean coal is well equipped to chart the ‘path toward clean coal.’
“Given Ms. Sutley’s position as Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, I request clarification whether her position on clean coal reflects your Administration’s policy. I also request additional information regarding her role on the clean coal task force. I am committed to ensuring the long-term viability of this valuable American resource. If your Administration truly shares this goal, I encourage you to find personnel that actually support and will help achieve this goal.”