A climate bill with a mandatory cap on U.S. CO2 emissions cleared a significant hurdle yesterday. America’s Climate Security Act, cosponsored by Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.), was voted through by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee after an endurance-testing nine and a half hour hearing. It will now go to the floor of the Senate for what is likely to be a contentious debate and vote. The bill was neither considerably strengthened nor weakened during the nigh-endless hearing. Republicans — mainly Jolly Jim Inhofe (Okla.) and Gay Olde Larry Craig (Idaho) — introduced some 150 amendments, many clearly aimed at gumming up the process. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) introduced an amendment calling for 100 percent auction (rather than roughly 40 percent free allocation) of the bill’s pollution permits — a holy grail for greens — but only Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) voted for it. After the hearing a jubilant committee chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) called it “the greatest legislative accomplishment of my political career of 30 years.”