E&E Daily (subs. req’d) reports
The new [Warner-Lieberman] bill includes a 15 percent cut in greenhouse gas emissions in 2020 compared with 2005 levels. A draft circulated in August called for cuts of 10 percent in 2020.
Lieberman and Warner also have agreed to drop the free distribution of pollution credits for manufacturers after 2036 in favor of including the industrial sector in an auction where they must compete with power plants, petroleum refiners and others. Manufacturers under the draft bill would have been given free credits until 2050.
Sounds like improvements to a good bill, whose ultimate goal is an overall cut of 70 percent by mid-century. Still, the environmental community is torn. Environmental Defense likes it, while “Clean Air Watch and U.S. PIRG contend the Lieberman-Warner plan moves too far from their goals.”
In related news, American Electric Power, Duke Energy, Xcel Energy and several other electric utilities have joined together to ask the senators to attach a “safety valve” to climate legislation because of the “protection it would provide for our customers.” Boo! What about the protection it would cost future generations??
As for an update on where the energy bill stands …
… E&E News (subs. req’d) reports
Top House Democrats intend to press for a fuel economy boost and a renewable electricity mandate in the final version of the energy bill despite the threat of a presidential veto….
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday revived the idea of holding a formal House-Senate conference to hammer out a final energy bill. Negotiations have already begun outside of a conference amid Democratic allegations that Senate Republicans would not allow a formal process.
I think the smart money is still betting against a good bill making it all the way to the president’s desk.