A quick update on the situation on Capitol Hill, which I briefly touched on here:
- Environment & Energy Daily has a piece (subscription only) on the debate within the Environment and Public Works Committee about “America’s Climate Security Act”:
- In the meantime, a strong editorial in the New York Times today about the dangers of too urgently passing an Energy Bill.
Sponsors of a Senate global warming bill appealed to their colleagues yesterday not to jump ship just because the legislation doesn’t meet all their demands.
“If you hold out for your version of the perfect, trust me, it isn’t going to happen,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, during an early evening floor speech.
Boxer appeared on the Senate floor to talk about climate legislation moments after another EPW Committee member, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), spoke out against S. 2191, “America’s Climate Security Act.”
As written, Sanders contests the legislation’s 2050 target to reduce U.S. heat-trapping emissions by about 63 percent from 2005 levels.
“Under the best projections, this bill does not go far enough, according to the scientific community, in giving us a chance to reverse global warming,” he said.
Sanders also objected to the free distribution of emission credits to industry, which would continue until 2036 under the underlying bill. The Vermont independent is one of a handful of EPW Committee majority members who holds a critical voice in getting the legislation out of committee during a Dec. 5 markup.
One of the bill’s lead sponsors, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), predicted he would get at least 10 committee members to vote for the measure.
Another important EPW Committee vote, Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.), repeated his pledge to support the bill. But he also warned against senators going after amendments that would make significant changes to the bill.
“I am wary … of some of the proposals that have been made that would whittle this bill too far in one direction or another,” said Baucus, adding that the legislation “hits the sweet spot.”
Hmm, signs don’t point to a strengthen the bill as you go along approach working.