Clinton and Sanders introduce amendments to strengthen the bill
The Lieberman-Warner markup in the Senate Environment Committee starts tomorrow, but already the action is hot and heavy. Word has it that Sen. James Inhofe is going to pull all manner of procedural shenanigans, which will probably slow things up enough to extend the markup into two days.
If that doesn’t do it, there are also dozens and dozens of amendments to consider. Larry Craig (R-Gayville) and James Inhofe (R-Mongo) have introduced 46 and 52 amendments respectively — they plan on making this a clown show, obstructing and distracting as much as humanly possible.
Of more interest are the amendments put forward by Hillary Clinton, who’s really proving to be a rock star so far, backing Bernie Sanders in efforts to substantially improve the bill. Most notably, she’s introduced an amendment that would eliminate all free pollution allowances to industry,
auctioning 100 percent of permits from the outset [this isn’t quite right — there would still be some “public benefit” allowances, including some granted to states for various programs].
Here are the Clinton/Sanders amendments, taken from Friends of the Earth (which supports them all):
Clinton Amendment #1
Clinton amendment #1 would eliminate the free allocation of carbon permits to fossil fuel fired electric generators, rural cooperatives, energy intensive manufacturing, petroleum producers or importers, and HFC producers, forcing this industries to buy all of these permits in an open auction. In addition, the amendment eliminates bonus allowances for carbon capture and sequestration.
Clinton Amendment #2
Clinton amendment #2 reduces the amount of auction revenue given through the “advanced coal and sequestration” program under the Energy Deployment and Technology fund, limiting the program to what’s needed to get carbon capture and sequestration commercially viable. The amendment disperses unused funds to other programs in the Energy Deployment and Technology fund for purposes such as sustainable energy and cellulosic ethanol development and deployment.
Sanders Amendment #3
Standard for Receiving Bonus Allowances: This amendment would strike the portion of the bill that describes the emission performance standards that make a project eligible to receive bonus allowances (a tiered approach) and would insert in its place the eligibility language as it was voted out of Subcommittee (an 85% standard).
Sanders Amendment #4
Emission Reduction Targets: This amendment would require the Administrator to promulgate rules to revise the post-2020 emission allowance table in Sec. 1201 (d) and promulgate further rules in order to achieve an 80% reduction in all U.S. global warming emissions by 2050, as compared to 1990.
Sanders Amendment #5
Scientific Lookback: This amendment would require the EPA Administrator, following a report by the National Academies of Sciences (required by the underlying language), to promulgate regulations to tighten the emissions caps if the latest science suggests that we are not on track to avert a 2 degree Celsius increase in global average temperature. The language explicitly recognizes that Congress should be given an oversight role by saying that any regulations promulgated under this language would be subject to the Congressional Review Act.
These two could really use some support on this. Pick up your phone and call your Senator.