By Suzanne Goldenberg, The Guardian’s U.S. environment correspondentWhat is the state of play for climate change legislation in America?
Barack Obama put his reputation on the line at Copenhagen by saying America would act on climate change. Now it’s up to Congress. The House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey bill last June which would set a price on carbon, and would put progressively tighter limits on greenhouse gas emissions with a 17 percent cut from 2005 levels by 2020, and 80 percent by 2050.
Barbara Boxer, a California Democrat, passed a nearly identical version of the bill out of the Senate environment committee last November. But action in the Senate has stalled. Boxer stared down a Republican boycott to get a bill through her committee. But Democrats are deeply reluctant to throw themselves into another full-on confrontation with Republicans so soon after the bruising battle over health care reform.What happens next?
U.S. environmental organizations say there is still a good chance the Senate will move ahead on a climate change bill this year. A triumvirate of Senators — Democrat John Kerry, Republican Lindsey Graham,... Read more