Obama Pushes BP-Inspired Cap-and-Trade Bill in Speech to Nation; The National Center for Public Policy Research Calls on the Senate to Reject the “BP Bill”

Washington, D.C. – Responding to President Obama’s speech on the oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, The National Center for Public Policy Research is calling attention to BP’s role in pushing Obama’s cap-and-trade energy policy.

BP was a founding member of the United States Climate Action Partnership – a lobbying coalition that played a key role in passing the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade bill that passed the House of Representatives last year and the company also played a role in negotiating the terms of the Kerry-Lieberman bill recently introduced in the Senate.

“It’s ironic that Obama is touting legislation inspired by BP. While Obama criticized the oil industry’s influence over its regulators he failed to mention the role BP was playing in influencing the president’s cherished cap-and-trade legislation,” said Tom Borelli, Ph.D., Director of the National Center’s Free Enterprise Project.

“Maybe in addition to the tragedy in the Gulf, Obama and BP CEO Tony Hayward will discuss cap-and-trade legislative strategy when they meet,” added Tom Borelli.

According to The Hill, “Hayward indicated he was encouraged by the effort by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) to write compromise climate legislation.” Other media outlets reported on BP’s effort to improve the elements of the bill.

Senator Kerry also mentioned BP as one of the companies that supports his cap-and-trade bill.

“Given BP’s incompetence and its awful record with environmental and safety matters, it’s outrageous elected officials allow the company to influence legislation. Maybe if BP spent less time and money in lobbying and more on safety we would not be suffering from this environmental disaster,” said Deneen Borelli, fellow with Project 21.

“The public should demand that the ‘BP Bill’ be soundly rejected by the Senate. It’s outrageous that elected officials are bashing BP in public while they seek their advice in private,” said Deneen Borelli.

Deneen Borelli also commented on Obama downplaying the cost of cap-and-trade to Americans. During the presidential campaign Obama said, “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Businesses would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that cost onto consumers.”

Last night Obama minimized the cost, saying, “Now, there are costs associated with this transition.”

“It’s shocking the degree to which Obama is misleading the American people about the cost of cap-and-trade. Obama’s priorities are with his progressive ideology and not with the interests of ‘we the people’,” Deneen Borelli said.

The National Center For Public Policy Research is a conservative, free-market non-profit think-tank established in 1982. It is supported by the voluntary gifts of over 100,000 individual recent supporters, and receives less than one percent of its revenue from corporate sources.

The National Center for Public Policy Research is a communications and research foundation supportive of a strong national defense and dedicated to providing free market solutions to today’s public policy problems. We believe that the principles of a free market, individual liberty and personal responsibility provide the greatest hope for meeting the challenges facing America in the 21st century.