A top White House adviser yesterday pushed back against the idea of paring down Senate legislation on energy and global warming and frowned upon emerging talk among some moderates to limit legislative efforts to capping greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.
“Our position is, let’s do it all,” said Carol Browner, President Obama’s senior aide on climate and energy issues. “Slicing and dicing isn’t going to work. It’s time to finally have comprehensive energy legislation in this country.”
That’s Greenwire (subs. req’d) reporting today on a panel discussion that included Browner. She still has her (globally) warm sense of humor:
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) earlier this week confirmed he plans to bring up the energy and climate bill on the floor next spring after work is done on both health care and financial regulatory reform. Asked about that timing, Browner said she expects to see Senate action in March or April. “The good news is spring comes early in Washington, earlier and earlier with climate change,” she joked.
I’ve been traveling, so I haven’t had time to dive into the idea floated by some, including Sen. Lugar’s office, of “combining power plant-only cap-and-trade legislation with building efficiency standards and stronger fuel efficiency requirements for the transportation sector.” I doubt that will be the endgame, since the more one looks into the idea, the less sense it makes.
After all, Obama already announced he will raise new car fuel efficiency standards to 35.5 mpg by 2015, and I find it hard to believe Lugar or any of those who oppose an economy-wide cap are prepared to go significantly farther than that. Strong building efficiency standards are great — that’s why Waxman and Markey put them in the House’s bipartisan climate and clean energy bill (see “Better buildings soon? Energy and climate bill would set national energy codes“). They belong in any comprehensive legislation. Funny how they aren’t in the Senate Energy Committee’s bill, though….