Consensus Senate climate bill will largely retain original weaknesses
Over at E&E Darren Samuelsohn has the goods (sub. rqd.) on changes to the Lieberman-Warner bill to be introduced tomorrow:
Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.) have made two major changes to global warming legislation they plan to introduce tomorrow, including tighter caps on heat-trapping emissions in 2020 and fewer free credits for manufacturers, sources on and off Capitol Hill said.
The new bill includes a 15 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 compared with 2005 levels. A draft circulated in August called for cuts of 10 percent in 2020.
Lieberman and Warner also have agreed to drop the free distribution of pollution credits for manufacturers after 2036 in favor of including the industrial sector in an auction where they must compete with power plants, petroleum refiners and others. Manufacturers under the draft bill would have been given free credits until 2050.
A Senate Environment and Public Works subcommittee hearing on the Lieberman-Warner proposal is expected Oct. 24, with a markup tentatively scheduled for a week later on Nov. 1.
There are no other major changes to the Lieberman-Warner legislation, a Lieberman aide confirmed yesterday.
Weak weak weak. This is barely better than the original draft. In particular, giving away most of the permits until 2036/2050 is just unacceptable. If green groups can’t get that changed — and the likelihood of the bill getting stronger as it moves through committees and voting strikes me as remote — they should come out and oppose the bill. We’ll see whether they’ve got the stones.