Details of Sanders Amendments to Lieberman-Warner

Posted by Brad Johnson Sat, 03 Nov 2007 19:13:00 GMT

At this week’s subcommittee markup of Lieberman-Warner (S 2191), Senators Sanders (I-Vt.) and Barrasso (R-Wyo.) introduced several amendments, some of which were adopted. The full list gives a good sense of the ideological, political, and economic battles to come as the full Environment and Public Works Committee holds hearings on the bill.

Thanks to the responsive communications staff of each senator, Hill Heat has summaries of all the amendments, and the full text of those introduced by Sanders. Sen. Barrasso’s amendments will be described in the next post.

Amendments were defeated unless otherwise noted.

  1. Funding for Renewables from the Auction Proceeds The amendment will specify that no less than 28% of the funds under the “zero and low carbon energy technologies program” will be used for renewables (as defined in the Energy Policy Act of 2005). The 28% is the same percentage as the maximum amount available to the “advanced coal and sequestration technologies program.”
  2. Reduce Funding for Vehicle Re-tooling & Provide Funding for Energy and Environmental Block Grants This amendment would reduce from 20% to 4% the amount of funding from the auction revenues that would be provided to the automobile manufacturing sector and would put the 16% difference into funding an energy and environmental block grant program, whose purposes are to assist State, Indian tribal, and local governments in implementing strategies -
    1. to reduce fossil fuel emissions created as a result of activities within the boundaries of the States or units of local government in an environmentally sustainable way that, to the maximum extent practicable, maximizes benefits for local and regional communities;
    2. to reduce the total energy use of the States, Indian tribes, and units of local government; and
    3. to improve energy efficiency in the transportation sector, building sector, and any other appropriate sectors.
  3. Adopted Increase the Accountability for the Automobile Manufacturing Sector Under the Auction Proceeds This amendment would change language in the bill so that to get funding from the auction, the automobile industry would have to be making vehicles that get “at least 35 miles per gallon combined fuel economy calculated on an energy-equivalent basis.”
  4. Withdrawn; similar text in substitute amendment Scientific Lookback This amendment would require the EPA Administrator, following a report by the National Academies of Sciences (required by the underlying language), to promulgate regulations to tighten the emissions caps if the latest science suggests that we are not on track to avert a 2 degree Celsius increase in global average temperature.
  5. Decrease the Amount of Years Free Allowances Are Given Away to Power Plants & Industry This amendment would reduce, by 10 years, the amount of time the power sector and the industrial sector are given pollution permits (for free by the federal government).
  6. Coal-fired Power Plants This amendment specifies that no coal-fired power plant will commence operation unless it captures and sequesters at least 85% of its CO2.
  7. Withdrawn New Entrant Allowances for Renewables Only This amendment would only allow utility-scale renewable projects to receive allowances under the new entrant provision in the bill.
  8. Offsets This amendment would limit offsets to an annual amount of no more than 420 million metric tons of allowances, instead of allowing each entity to meet 15% of its emissions reductions with offsets.
  9. Emission Reduction Targets This amendment will require the Administrator to promulgate annual emission limits to reduce total US greenhouse gas emissions by 15% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80% below 2005 levels by 2050

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