SPRINGFIELD — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis reiterated Thursday that while he believes in climate change, he does not support a cap-and-trade law to limit carbon emissions or any other measure that he said would increase energy costs on industry and consumers.
The League of Conservation Voters has begun running television ads in the Champaign and St. Louis markets, attacking the Taylorville Republican for his position on cap-and-trade proposals. It accuses him of opposing "President Obama's common sense climate change plan" that "would significantly cut carbon pollution from power plants, which are the single largest source of carbon pollution."
Both Davis and his Republican primary opponent, Urbana attorney Erika Harold, said Thursday they oppose cap-and-trade laws and more environmental regulation of coal-fired power plants.
"Their agenda is clearly a cap-and-trade system which is a tax on carbon that will kill American jobs and raise our utility rates. The question you need to ask them is how much do you want citizens in Springfield, Illinois, and Champaign, Illinois, to pay to flip on their light switches?" Davis said during Republican Day festivities at the state fair and elsewhere in Springfield. "How much do you want people to actually grow the unemployment rolls, because they don't have jobs because you have shut down our energy plants, some of the best job-providers in this country.
"I'm not for cap-and-trade. I'm never going to be for cap-and-trade. I'm for making sure that America continues to reduce its carbon footprint, which we already have. We're doing that through the marketplace. We've got reduced fuel usage. Things like that are happening in America although they're are not happening elsewhere in the globe. The question is are we going to hinder America's ability to grow in this global economy when other countries like China and India are the ones polluting and moving their carbon footprint up."
Asked whether the government had any role in cutting carbon emissions, Davis said, "The government should be concerned about putting Americans back to work, and growing our economy. And right now there's an attack on coal in this country by this administration, and through the rules and regulations coming out of the EPA. I'm going to fight against that.
"And that's why the League of Conservation Voters, which has an agenda to put forth a cap-and-trade system that will be a job killer, they don't want me in Congress. They want their fairy godmother, (former House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi, back in charge."
Harold, asked her opinion on cap-and-trade laws and tougher regulation of coal plants during Republican Day at the state fair, said she agreed with Davis.
"I would be against further restrictions (on coal-burning power plants) and I don't support cap and trade," she said.
Meanwhile, former Gov. Jim Edgar said he supports Davis over Harold in the 13th Congressional District.
"Everybody has a right to run, but I just worry about what it could do to us next year," Edgar said at the fair. "It could make it tougher in the fall. When you have an incumbent who I think has done a decent job and has a good chance of winning again, I would rather put our resources someplace else.
"I think she is a talented young lady who has a lot to offer. I think Rodney will win the primary, but it could be a rough primary and it will use up resources. And that just means less resources for the fall. That's my concern."