Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison Talks Cap and Trade in Odessa

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

ODESSA--The would-be Governor was back in West Texas with why Republicans say the proposed cap and trade bill is bad for American Oil Businesses and bad for the Basin.

Senator Hutchison and her Republican counterparts feel if the cap and trade bill passes, it would have serious reprecussions on the Nation's oil and gas industry.  But perhaps nowhere as much as right here in the Permian Basin.

"It's just going to make America less competitive.  Why would we be doing something so foolish?,"  the Senator asked.

With the family owned business GEMSTAR Fabrication as a backdrop, the Senator expressed her firm opposition to the proposed cap and trade bill, set to come up for a vote, "I'm gonna fight as hard as I can and help educate people about how terrible this is.  You want to make sure that you are preparing people for all of the problems, so that hopefully, when the time comes, and we don't know when that's going to be, that we will be able to do something about it."

Hutchison could find nothing positive about a proposed legislation that taxes a company on the amount of CO2 emissions it produces, "You would say, reasonably, what is the upside here?  There really isn't one because it's not going to stop the amount of emissions at the global level."

According to Hutchison, all it will do is reduce oil and gas production and have a serious impact on businesses right here at home, "You're going to see companies like GEMSTAR, that make equipment for oil and gas exploration, start having to cut back or go out of business."

Gary Vest, Director of Economic Development for the City of Odessa, agrees, "It may cost 300,000 jobs for the State of Texas, but it will be a disproportioned amount to West Texas and it will be a disproportioned amount here in the Permian Basin."

Not to mention the advantage it will give to foreign oil companies.

"That's the last thing we need to do in this Country, give our foreign competition a leg up," Vest said.

According to Vest, at the request of lawmakers, the Odessa Chamber of Commerce has taken a stand against cap and trade and urges everyone to do the same, "The Chamber of Commerce adopted a resolution opposing cap and trade, totally opposing it.  This is a serious, serious matter. "

After her visit in Odessa, Senator Hutchison made her way to Big Spring to talk about the same thing.   The cap and trade bill was narrowly passed in the House back in June.   A date for a Senate vote has not been announced.