Senate Watch, Strength of Targets: Baucus, Boxer, Graham, Inhofe, Kerry, Lautenber, Sanders, Specter, Stabenow, Voinovich

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 29 Oct 2009 09:39:00 GMT

As hearings begin on the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733), senators are staking out their positions on whether the regulations in the bill should be strengthened or weakened.

Max Baucus (D-MT)

E&E News Speaking at the start of an Environment and Public Works Committee hearing where he is the second highest-ranking member, the Montana Democrat said he wanted to weaken the bill’s 2020 target for greenhouse gas emissions—now 20 percent below 2005 levels. He did not name a specific midterm target for the heat-trapping gases, instead telling reporters he hoped for “some modification.” The six-term senator also said he hoped to attach pre-emption language to the Senate climate bill, S. 1733, that stops U.S. EPA from implementing a 2007 Supreme Court opinion that opens the door to new greenhouse gas emission standards on industry.

The legislation before us is about our economy. Montana, with our resource-based agriculture and tourism economies, cannot afford the unmitigated impacts of climate change. But we also cannot afford the unmitigated affects of climate change legislation. That’s why I support passing common-sense legislation that reduces greenhouse gas emissions while protecting our economy. The key word in that sentence is ‘passing.’

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

E&E News No climate bill has ever had this level of review, and the Obama administration stands behind this analysis.

This bill is the best insurance against a dangerous future. It is a responsible approach that sets attainable goals for gradual reductions in carbon emissions and it protects consumers, businesses and workers as we move toward clean energy. This need for bipartisanship, believe me, I’d give anything if had a John Warner still sitting here. We don’t have it. Climate change, global warming isn’t waiting for who’s a Democrat or who’s a Republican. Either we’re going to deal with this problem, or we’re not.

[on weakening targets] I don’t think it’s necessary, because we’re so down on carbon, by about 8 or 9 percent, so the real goal is going to be really easy to meet.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

E&E News Graham told reporters he hoped to form a “working group” with Kerry and the Obama administration that could serve as a forum for senators who do not sit on the relevant committees. “What we’re going to do is start with a clean sheet of paper and say, ‘What does it take?’” Graham said.

James Inhofe (R-OK)

EPW The victims of cap-and-trade can’t just move on and get new, green jobs.

John Kerry (D-MA)

E&E News America’s leadership is certainly on the line here.

E&E News It’s really a much lower percentage, frankly, by 2020. We’ll see what happens on the floor on that. I’m open to talking to Max. We’ll see where we wind up.

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

E&E News Senator Baucus is a major figure in the Senate. The fact is, he has a different attitude than I, based on the needs of what he sees in his state. I wouldn’t hesitate to remind him there’s a national good that can come out of this, and to see if we can persuade him.

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

E&E News I think 20 percent is a conservative number. We’ll fight to make it higher, but we certainly are going to oppose strenuously any effort to lower the number.

Arlen Specter (D-PA)

E&E News We’re all concerned about job loss.

Every part of the bill is now under analysis. We’re wading through a very complex piece of legislation. And there are going to be a lot of factors to consider, and I’m not prepared to make a judgment before the opening statements are made.

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

E&E News Certainly it depends on how it’s all put together, but the president was talking about a lower number. I think we should look at a lower number.

George Voinovich (R-OH)

E&E News Why are we trying to jam down this legislation now? Wouldn’t it be smarter to take our time and do it right like we didn’t do it the last time around when we had this legislation in the works?

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