Politics

Lieberman-Warner markup

Sanders’ fourth amendment

This one would require the EPA to act if the National Academy of Sciences learns that we have not taken sufficient action to avoid the worst effects of global warming. It's a so-called "look back" amendment. Lieberman ... opposes it! His own amendment package calls for periodic NAS reports, directs the EPA to review those reports and recommend changes to America's Climate Security Act to the Congress. That's an important difference. There's pros and cons to each. Under a good EPA administrator, the Sanders' amendment would be extremely important. Under an EPA administrator like the current one, it would mean four years without look backs. Lieberman's amendment defers to Congress, which as we all know doesn't always get things done super fast. Lautenberg has proposed changing this amendment in a way that would allow Congress to override EPA recommendations, and Sanders has agreed to withdraw the amendment until it can be considered in the full committee.

Lieberman-Warner markup

Opposing Sanders

Joe Lieberman better have buttered up Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) fairly thoroughly, because he's certainly not courting Bernie Sanders. That said, Lieberman has supported Sanders' third amendment, a modest change to the bill requiring the auto industry to meet the CAFE standards -- 35 mpg -- passed by the Senate this year. This amendment, gratefully, has passed.

Lieberman-Warner markup

Sanders’ second amendment

He wants to carve out funds, currently expected to benefit the auto industry, and dedicate them to improving efficiency. Sanders notes that the language in the bill is extremely weak -- it indicates a flood of subsidies to the auto industry without spelling out specifically what's expected from the auto industry in return. How did chairman Lieberman react? He opposed it, of course! (That basically kills it.) Update: It failed.

Lieberman-Warner markup

Amendments

Bernie Sanders' amendment would carve out a chunk of money from the subsidy package for low-and-zero-carbon technologies and earmark it specifically for wind, solar, and other renewable-energy companies. Lieberman opposes it on the grounds that (a) it's too large a handout to wind and solar, and (b) he wants to wait to spell out the winners of the subsidies in order to keep a coalition of support (which includes an antinuclear faction) in the Senate together. That will pretty much kill the amendment. Update: Yup, it's dead.

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