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More Compromises Ahead for Senate Energy Bill

Senate Democrats are expected to work on an energy bill this week (June 29) that could include a cap on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from utility companies instead of regulating GHG emissions from all sources as initially proposed, reports The Chicago Tribune. The bill is not expected to be an economy-wide climate change bill that the House passed one year ago.

It’s reported that there is interest in a compromise that would cap carbon-dioxide emissions from the electric power sector only, not transportation and manufacturing sectors, which would raise the cost of burning coal to generate electricity while driving up the use of alternative technologies, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Democrats agree that a carbon cap, which requires companies to buy permits to generate carbon dioxide, won’t be approved in the Senate, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Republicans describe the cap-and-trade system as a national energy tax, and a group of coal and Midwest state Senate Democrats opposes it because of the economic impact on their states, according to the article.

Other possible options include a cap and dividend bill, a measure that phases out old coal plants and an energy-only bill with a renewable electricity standard, reports The New York Times.

The bill also could include provisions that would increase the liability caps on oil companies and impose stricter environmental and safety rules on offshore drilling as a result of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Republicans had predicted that Senate Democrats would tie the oil spill provisions to climate policies that charge industrial emitters for releasing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, reports The New York Times.

The bill also may include new requirements that utilities generate more electricity from renewable sources, and stricter efficiency standards for appliances and buildings.

President Obama is expected to meet today (June 29) with a bipartisan group of senators to discuss a new energy policy.

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One thought on “More Compromises Ahead for Senate Energy Bill

  1. The US needs carbon pricing. Look at how corporations continue to carbon pollute in the absence of such legislation. Clearly business will never shoulder their responsibilities with respect to climate change until they are forced to do so by law.

    Certain Republican and Democratic senators oppose such legislation. Those senators are either ignorant or are merely bowing to their unspoken masters: oil, coal, and other business interest groups who perceive a threat to their profits. In their opposition, they demonstrate a true inability to govern wisely, or in the best interests of the country.

    In reality, carbon pricing would not be the ‘too burdensome to bear’ devil that it is made out to be. And don’t forget, doing nothing would only be far worse. Carbon pricing would not kill the economy either.

    Enough is enough! We must all share in the costs of changing our ways. AGW is the most serious issue facing our country. It’s bigger than terrorism. Bigger than the recession. Bigger than illegal immigration. Bigger than the deficit. Bigger than anything. And as time marches on, the problem grows worse, and the solution grows ever more painful.

    Congress, it’s time to act!

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