America’s Climate Security Act passes first legislative hurdle
A climate bill that would require mandatory cuts to U.S. carbon emissions has passed its first legislative hurdle, successfully enduring a hearing of a congressional subcommittee. America’s Climate Security Act made it through the Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection (or, as we say around the office, SubPSCSGWWP) on a 4-3 vote. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who tried to spice up the bill with more environmentally friendly provisions at the hearing, ultimately voted against its passage due to, among other things, its relatively weak targets for reducing emissions: reductions of up to 19 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 63 percent cuts by 2050. But despite its weaknesses, some green groups talked up the bill’s significance in the hopes that as it navigates the legislative process, it’ll get tougher on climate change and coddle polluting industries less. The SubPSCSGWWP vote means the bill will soon be debated by the full Environment and Public Works Committee. Committee Chair Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) has said she will press for a vote before the end of the year.