Sen. Collins Weighs-In 

With Democrats controlling the White House and Senate, and Republicans controlling the House, you get a sense that no legislation is going to come easy in the current Congress.Senator Susan Collins says that’s good for America. Jim Morris spoke with her about it Thursday afternoon.——-Jim: “Last night the President said what happened in Arizona should not foment finger pointing and divisiveness but rather should help foster a civil discourse. Good words, but how likely is it that we’ll see more cooperation in Congress?”Sen. Susan Collins, (R) Maine: “I’m hopeful that we’ll see more cooperation in Congress, but I actually believe more gets done in more diversified government. When one party controls the temptation by the party in charge is to try to cram everything through without proper debate and consideration. Now that we have divided government it forces people to come together to negotiate and try to achieve a consensus. So I’m actually optimistic.”Jim: “But it does give opportunity for parties to create a wall, and we’re halfway through the term of the President right now, your party, I’m sure would like to see itself in power two years from now, so wouldn’t that potentially have a negative effect on cooperation?”Sen. Collins: “It’s been my experience that more tends to get done when you have one party in control say of one house and the other party in control of the other house that seems to bring people together because they have no choice if they want to get anything done. I don’t think one party control is good for our community because it lacks checks and balances. So I remain hopeful that we’ll be having a fresh start this year. I was pleased to hear the President’s eloquent and moving speech last night, and his call for more stability in how we treat one another. I don’t think that had anything to do with what happened in Tucson, the terrible attack there, but certainly the level of debate in Washington is not what it should be.”Jim: “Alright Senator, another topic. The EPA is easing up on regulations, at least backing off pertaining to biomass energy. Is this good news for Maine?”Sen. Collins: “It’s great news for Maine. I have been pushing for EPA to revisit this issue for some time. For years biomass has been considered to be carbon neutral, but all of a sudden EPA was proposing to treat it as if the emissions from biomass were the same as the emissions from fossil fuels, and they’re not. That would have been our pulp and paper mills, our sawmills that burn biomass. So this is very good news and will help to overt what would have been catastrophic damage, particularly to those 14 biomass plants in our state.”Jim: “Senator we’re out of time, but in a word is this buying time so regulations can be formatted regarding biomass?”Sen. Collins: “Regulations could still be forth coming, but EPA is going to put a three year moratorium in place while it take a far closer look at this issue and that’s great news compared to what EPA had been proposing.”Jim: “Senator Susan Collins, thanks a lot for your time.”Sen. Collins: “Thank you, Jim.”Jim: “You’re very welcome.”