Stage Set for Lieberman-Warner Markup

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 03 Dec 2007 15:24:00 GMT

EE News reports that Sen. Boxer likely has sufficient votes to pass her updated version of the Lieberman-Warner cap-and-trade bill (S. 2191) out of committee at Wednesday’s markup, though the markup process may take two days.

EE News reported on some responses to the changes in Sen. Boxer’s version, known as the “manager’s mark”:
Environmental groups have different perspectives on the new version of the Lieberman-Warner climate bill.

Dan Lashof, a senior scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council, signaled support. “I think the bill continues to move in the right direction,” he said in an interview. “The changes [in the manager’s mark] are incremental from what was passed in the subcommittee.”

Of the new section for HFCs, Lashof predicted “net environmental benefits” by forcing HFC-polluting industries to compete with each other for emission credits.

But Friends of the Earth still has some of the same concerns that caused it to oppose the legislation in subcommittee. In particular, Erich Pica, the group’s economic policy analyst, found fault with the bill’s allocation system. “It gives away too many permits for free,” he said. “It’s a hundred billion dollar windfall for the polluting industries that got us into this mess in the first place. And the targets need to be strengthened.”

Industry also has its own problems.

At the Edison Electric Institute, spokesman Dan Riedinger said the Lieberman-Warner legislation includes targets and timetables that don’t match industry expectations for the readiness of new energy technologies. He also said the bill doesn’t do enough to hold down the costs to the U.S. economy. And it doesn’t press for enough reductions from developing economies like China and India.

“They don’t begin to address our overall concerns about the bill,” Riedinger said.

A collection of power companies that often lines up with Delaware’s Carper also took issue with the legislation. In a prepared statement issued Friday, the Clean Energy Group questioned the way the bill now favors coal-fired electric utilities over more energy efficient nuclear power and natural gas plants.

“We believe this approach will compromise the effective and efficient attainment of the greenhouse gas reduction targets by providing a subsidy to high-emitting generators,” the statement said. The group includes Entergy, FPL and Constellation Energy.


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