"Climate politics scoop and question of the week"
Okay, I don’t know if it is a scoop, heck, I don’t know for certain it is true, but very reliable source tells me that speaker Pelosi wants the climate bill on the House floor the last week in June.
That is consistent with what Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said (see “House Majority Leader says climate bill will see fast action“). But it will require a lot of speedy deal-making. Still, it suggests the speaker does not see any deal breakers in the path to House passage, even though, as Wonk Room reports, “Brown Dogs Poised To Block Green Economy Legislation.”
And Sen. Boxer (D-CA) can certainly get something close to the Waxman-Markey bill out of the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee by the fall. And let’s assume for now it doesn’t get mired in any other committees
And that brings me to the climate politics question of the week:
Will moderate and conservative Senate Democrats — the Gang of 16 — vote for something that is called the Boxer-Waxman-Markey Bill? Or will they embarce a not-invented-here mentality and insist on substantially weakening it?
After all, at least one of them is already hard at work trying to gut an already weak Senate Renewable Energy Standard, which itself is weaker than the Waxman-Markey RES. As Wonk Room explained last week, “Evan Bayh votes against a national renewable electricity standard that even Republicans supported“:
This morning, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) “was the only Democrat to oppose a renewable-energy requirement” that even some Republicans supported. The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee “voted down an amendment offered by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions that would have removed the renewable electricity standard from the energy package the panel is currently debating” by a vote of 9 to 13. Even though the Energy Information Administration has found that a much stronger standard would only affect electricity prices in Indiana by 6 percent in 2026, Bayh argued Indiana would be hit hard:
Bayh said Indiana would be among the states that would bear a disproportionate share of the cost of meeting the requirement. He said a fairer system would be offering tax credits for producing power from renewable sources.
The standard of 15 percent renewable energy or efficiency gains by 2021 is significantly weaker than President Obama’s preferred standard of 25 percent by 2025. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) and Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) joined 11 Democrats in support of the standard, and Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA) did not vote.
All you Hoosiers out there need to let your Senator know what you think with letters and phone calls. He is going to be a hard sell — and one more reason why we need some sort of the deal with China this fall (see Bayh’s exchange with Energy Secretary Chu in “Does a serious bill need action from China?“)