Lots of important news on climate policy, hastily summarized
I’m at the airport, using a painfully slow wi-fi connection, boarding in about 20 min., and the “c” key on my keyboard is on the fritz and works about once every three times I hit it. (Just what you want before a liveblogging weekend!) However, there are a few key pieces of news I need to pass along.
First, today Boxer’s EPW committee had a hearing with big enviro groups about the effort to pass the Lieberman-Warner climate bill. She said that Reid had cleared her to introduce the bill to the floor after the Memorial Day recess. And in her opening statement, among other things she said this:
We need to continue improving this legislation. I plan, with Leader Reid’s support, to improve this bill on the Senate floor. If the bill is weakened, two things will happen:
a. We will hold those who weakened it accountable in November.
b. We will pull the bill and bring back the legislation after we have a new Congress and a new President. This view is shared by many who are here with me today.
That is a strong and most welcome statement that Dems won’t just roll over for any old crappy bill.
There’s also this, from E&E’s account ($ub. req’d) of Boxer’s press conference:
Boxer stressed that she did not think significant floor time would be needed because the framework itself is already in the bill from Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.). If anything, Boxer said she hoped to tack on amendments that strengthen the midcentury emission targets from around 70 percent to 80 percent.
And she also said she would support amendments that shift the underlying bill toward distributing more of its emission credits through an auction. Boxer also said she would try to add more direct funding for cities to help with transportation planning and energy efficiency.
Meanwhile, however, on the House side, Boucher laid out his thoughts on climate legislation at the Platts Energy Podium. Long story short: he wants almost all free permit allocations. This is going to put him (and Dingell) sharply at odds with Boxer and Reid. Should be interesting to watch.
Also, yesterday Sanders and Markey introduced a bill that would put a moratorium on construction of new coal plants without carbon controls. As you’d expect, this makes my toes tingle. It doesn’t have a chance in hell this year, or probably for many years to come, but it’s on the table now. It’s no longer the fever dream of activists.
Lots more to say on this stuff, but I gotta run board!