Senate quashes emissions caps and state authority over LNG terminals

The Senate voted yesterday to reject a measure that would have given governors more power over the siting of terminals for tankers carrying liquefied natural gas. The Bush administration has pushed for total federal control over LNG terminal sites, while many state officials — including California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) — and coast-state senators contend that the terminals could be targets for terrorist attacks or pose safety risks. The Senate also rejected by 60-38 the McCain-Lieberman proposal for mandatory caps on greenhouse-gas emissions, with opponents making the usual arguments that caps would burden the economy and that other major emitters like China aren’t doing anything, so why should we? But Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) voted no because nuclear-power subsidies were recently added to the proposal. On the pale green upside, the Senate did approve a nonbinding resolution affirming that greenhouse-gas emissions pose a substantial risk that will eventually necessitate mandatory action. Someday. Just not today.