AARP Endorses Cantwell-Collins

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 10 Mar 2010 12:40:00 GMT

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) has endorsed the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act (S. 2877), co-sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine). In a letter sent to the senators, AARP Executive Vice President for Social Impact Nancy LeaMond embraced the CLEAR Act’s program of monthly rebate checks to all Americans paid for by a full auction of crabon credits.

The letter has some logical inconsistencies, claiming that AARP does not “advocate for any specific targets or structure for reducing carbon emissions and allocating emissions credits” but later stating that CLEAR’s “federal auction of 100% of emissions credits” is one of the features “essential to helping residential consumers transition to a clean energy economy.”

AARP has no official position on the existence of man-made climate change (“we do not take positions on the scientific issues underlying the debate on global warming”).

Full text of letter below:

March 9, 2010

Dear Senators Cantwell and Collins:

On behalf of AARP and its 39 million members, I want to thank you for introducing S. 2877, the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal (CLEAR) Act, and for you continuing leadership on behalf of America’s consumers in the Senate debate over energy independence and climate change. Your CLEAR Act legislation offers a thoughtful, bipartisan approach to reducing harmful carbon dioxide emissions while also mitigating potential energy cost increases to consumers.

AARP approaches the issue of climate change from a somewhat unique perspective. As we are not an environmental advocacy organization, we do not take positions on the scientific issues underlying the debate on global warming, nor do we advocate for any specific targets or structure for reducing carbon emissions and allocating emissions credits among power generators and local utilities. Our primary interest is protecting consumers from having to pay a disproportionate or excessive share of the cost of any approach Congress determines will best limit carbon emissions and encourage alternative electric generation.

Our expertise in this area derives from our advocacy on behalf of consumers in state utility regulatory proceedings and our understanding of the complexities of state utilities regulation. For more than 20 years, AARP has been the only national organization consistently working at the federal level and in the states to advance energy affordability and consumer protections from unfair utility policies and rate increases. Last year alone, our national and state office staff engaged in legislative and regulatory efforts in 30 states that resulted in nearly $120 million in documented savings for consumeres.

The CLEAR Act offers a uniquely pro-consumer approach for addressing climate change on an economy-wide basis. It proposes a federal auction of 100% of emissions credits, with the proceeds from 75% of these credits reserved for direct assistance to consumers in monthly cash rebates. It seeks to mitigate indirect costs that are routinely passed on to consumers by imposing a price collar on the price for emission credits to prevent price spikes and promote energy price stability, while also prohibiting trading of emissions credits to avoid what analysts estimate could become a trillion dollar trading market for carbon credits. It establishes an energy efficiency rebate loan program to help consumers finance home energy efficiency improvements. In addition, the CLEAR Act proposes to use part of the proceeds from the remaining 25% of credits for additional assistance to low-income consumers, recognizing that low- and fixed-income households routinely spend a far larger proportion of their monthly incomes on utilities. And it authorizes and funds a Consumer Advocate Office to provide a truly independent voice for consumers in regulatory proceedings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

AARP strongly supports these features of your legislation as essential to helping residential consumers transition to a clean energy economy, and protecting them from having to bear an unfair share of the cost. We look forward to working with you to highlight the innoveative and important features of your legislation and to ensure that they are included in any final climate change legislation.

Thank you again for your continued leadership on this and other issues that are of critical importance to older Americans. Please feel free to call on me, or have your staff call Marti T. Doneghy, Senior Legislative Representative in our Office of Government Relations and Advocacy at (202) 434-3804 or contact her at if we can provide you with any information or assistance.


Nancy LeaMond Executive Vice President for Social Impact AARP

Senate Watch: Baucus, Begich, Brown, Cardin, Graham, Gregg, Landrieu, Lieberman, McCain, Murkowski

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 09 Mar 2010 18:47:00 GMT

Max Baucus (D-Mont)

E&E News For this bill [green tax extenders], most of the activity is behind us. This bill reached its stride. We see the finish line ahead on Tuesday or so, and we expect a final push then.

Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

E&E News I felt I got a lot [from K-G-L] of what I needed, understanding the timetable and the schedule, and what sources will be regulated first, which won’t be.

Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)

E&E News We want this bill to work for jobs. It’s ultimately an energy independence, jobs and environmental bill together. We don’t have details yet, but we’re making progress.

Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

E&E News There’s the potential for a broader coalition supporting this.

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

E&E News Offshore drilling and energy independence is essential to any bill I would support. There’s a way to drill for oil and gas offshore that will really lead to energy independence.

Judd Gregg (R-N.H.)

E&E News I think he’s [Kerry] trying to approach this in a creative way and I’m listening. It’s better than where they started.

Mary Landrieu (D-La) They [Kerry, Graham, Lieberman] are all on the same page as I am that partnership with the states needs to be established. The idea would be to open as much of the coast of the United States as possible and have appropriate revenue sharing levels, and we have to negotiate a lot of that.

Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)

E&E News We’re going to have to go outside of our comfort zone. That’s how it’s going to get done.

John McCain (R-Ariz.)

E&E News You know I’m always deeply disturbed about the fact there’s no meaningful nuclear power component.

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

E&E News I’m saying that you want to have me sit down at the table and talk about what a strong domestic production piece is, you have to be willing to talk to me about ANWR. Pretty simple… It’s kind of like feeling the elephant when you’ve got the blindfold on. The trunk feels entirely different than the tail and the leg. And right now, we’re just feeling maybe the trunk, and I want to know what the leg looks like and what the tail looks like.

State Legislatures Work To Deny Regulation of Climate Threat

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 03 Mar 2010 03:49:00 GMT

Yesterday, the South Dakota legislature passed a resolution telling public schools to teach “balance” about the “prejudiced” science of climate change by a vote of 37-33. Earlier language that ascribed “astrological” influences to global warming was stripped from the final version.

There are at least fifteen state legislatures attempting to prevent limits on greenhouse gas pollution. The states of Alabama and global warming endangerment finding, with legislators in thirteen more states in tow. Several of these resolutions argue that the scientific consensus on the threat of manmade global warming is actually a conspiracy:
KENTUCKY: “WHEREAS, a recent disclosure of communications among scientists associated with the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia has cast serious doubt upon the scientific data that have purportedly supported the finding that manmade carbon dioxide has been a material cause of global warming or global climate change . . .”

MARYLAND: “WHEREAS, E–mail and other communications between climate researchers around the globe discovered as part of the recent “climate–gate” controversy indicate that there is a well–organized and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data and incorporate tricks to substantiate the theory of climate change . . . “

OKLAHOMA: “WHEREAS, intense public scrutiny has revealed how unsettled the science is on climate change and the unwillingness of many of the world’s climatologists to share data or even entertain opposing viewpoints on the subject . . .”

UTAH: “WHEREAS, emails and other communications between climate researchers around the globe, referred to as ‘Climategate,’ indicate a well organized and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome . . .”

Every resolution makes the claim that protecting citizens from hazardous climate pollution would hurt the economy, instead of spurring a green recovery. Missouri, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Alaska lawmakers talk about being “dependent” on their states’ coal and oil industries. Several of the resolutions, drafted early last year, call on Congress to reject the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454), which passed the House of Representatives in June but has languished in the Senate. The Alaska and West Virginia resolutions support Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-AK) effort to rewrite the Clean Air Act (S.J.Res. 26), and Alabama’s resolution calls for the passage of Rep. Earl Pomeroy’s (D-ND) similar effort (H.R. 4396).

Bizarrely, Arizona state senator Sylvia Allen’s (R-AZ) resolution argues that the U.S. Congress does not have the Constitutional authority to regulate greenhouse gas pollution. Allen also believes the Earth is 6000 years old. The other Arizona resolution, along with the Kentucky, Virginia, and Washington resolutions, would attempt to block state enforcement of global warming rules.

These efforts to overturn the Clean Air Act and politicize established science are being supported by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a national organization that brings conservative state lawmakers together with industry. ALEC promotes a resolution opposing the endangerment finding drafted by its Natural Resources Task Force, which includes over 120 lawmakers from around the nation and a similarly sized group of corporate representatives. Although ALEC does not have an official position on the validity of climate science, the organization is “actively involved in helping people get together and share ideas,” a representative told Hill Heat. For example, the spring ALEC task force meeting will feature noted climate conspiracy theorist Paul Driessen, the author of Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death.

States With Resolutions Opposing Greenhouse Endangerment Finding
AKHJR 49Stoltze ( R)PendingSupports Murkowski
ALHJR 218Gipson ( R)EnactedSupports Pomeroy
AZHB 2442
SCR 1050
Burges ( R)
Allen ( R)
PendingBlocks state enforcement
Tenther resolution
FLHR 1357
SR 958
Stephens ( R)
Pearson ( R)
PendingSupports overturn
ILHR 961
SR 666
Phelps (D)
Forby ( D)
PendingOpposes Waxman-Markey
KSSR 1809Natural Resources CommitteePendingOpposes “administrative fiat” by EPA
KYHJR 20Fischer ( R)PendingCites hacked emails to block state enforcement
MDHJR 13Jenkins ( R)PendingCites “climate change conspiracy” to oppose EPA
HCR 59
Funderburk ( R)
Brown ( R)
PendingOpposes Waxman-Markey, EPA
OKSCR 41Lamb ( R)Adopted by SenateCites “unsettled” science to support overturn
UTEPA withdrawal
VAHB1357Morefield ( R)Pending“Carbon dioxide shall not be considered air pollution”
WAS 6477Stevens ( R)PendingBlocks state enforcement
WVHCR 34Shott ( R)PendingCites “vigorous, legitimate, and substantive” scientific debate to support Murkowski

Senate Watch: Bingaman, Boxer, Cardin, Casey, Corker, Dorgan, Graham, Kerry, Landrieu, Lincoln, Murkowski, Nelson, Reid, Sanders, Snowe 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 22 Jan 2010 23:08:00 GMT

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

E&E News If enacted today, CEDA can create countless new jobs this year in new companies across the country by helping breakthrough clean energy technologies get introduced into U.S. markets and expanded as quickly as possible. CEDA would facilitate tens of billions of dollars in new investment in entrepreneurial companies with innovative technologies by giving investors the confidence that financing will be available later for first commercial-scale deployment. This is critical in helping emerging clean tech companies grow in an environment that is highly capital intensive, making our economy more competitive, and reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.

Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

E&E News This is a new low, in my humble opinion. [The resolution is an] unprecedented move by a United States senator and her co-sponsors to overturn a health finding made by health experts and scientific experts in order to stand with the special interests. We know we’ve got to find 60 votes, but we also know we cannot and must not repeal a scientific health finding.

Ben Cardin (D-Md.)

E&E News There are provisions that are more difficult for us to accept if they’re not part of a comprehensive bill. In a broader package I am more understanding of some of the other regional concerns.

Robert Casey (D-Penn.)

E&E Neews It’s going to be very hard to do something on that [climate] in the next weeks and months. And after that, I can’t tell. But we have to have substantive strategies on job creation.

Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)

E&E News You’re [Secretary Chu] slow-walking things that are proven, and wanting to spend lots of money on things that are unproven. It makes me less trustful of the department.

Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.)

E&E News It [the energy committee bill] will move us in the direction of a lower-carbon future. Offshore drilling is a carrot. It’s a carrot that’s already been consumed.

E&E News My guess is that it probably wouldn’t meet with favor when it hits the White House, if it ever passes the House and the Senate.

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

E&E News I can get every Republican for an energy independence bill, OK? But there are not 60 votes. You’re not going to get the nuclear power provisions you want unless you do something on emission controls.

E&E News I’ve got a lot of Republicans who are really excited about the energy part. What I’m telling them, and what I’m telling y’all, if you want energy independence, the way to get there is through cleaning up the air, and we’ll see what happens.

E&E News If you vote to pre-empt the EPA, which I’m willing to do, I think there’s a burden on you as a U.S. senator to deal with the issue.

John Kerry (D-Mass.)

E&E News It’s [the Murkowski resolution] not going to affect what we’re doing one way or another.

E&E News We certainly had a good discussion on the issue [with the White House]. And I think they’re committed to moving forward, as are we. We’re already working on text,” Kerry said. “We’re putting a bill together. ... If you give us just a few days here, we’ll be ready to give you a little update. We feel very good about where we are.

Mary Landrieu (D-La.)

E&E News The industries that I represent want the sharpest, most carefully crafted tools available, and I don’t think that can be achieved using a Clean Air Act that wasn’t designed for that purpose.

Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.)

E&E News I am very concerned about the burden that EPA regulation of carbon emissions could put on our economy and have questions about the actual benefit EPA regulations would have on the environment. Heavy-handed EPA regulation, as well as the current cap-and-trade bills in Congress, will cost us jobs and put us at an even greater competitive disadvantage to China, India and others.

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

E&E News The decision to offer this resolution was brought about by what will happen in the wake of the EPA’s decision to issue the endangerment finding,. You see, it is not merely a ‘finding.’ It’s actually a floodgate, and under the guise of protecting the environment, it’s set to unleash a wave of damaging new regulations that will wash over and further submerge our struggling economy.

E&E News Murkowski was unclear on the timing of a floor vote but said she would hold out hope on reaching a broader agreement on energy and climate change. “At this point in time, yes, that is what our plan is,” she said. “But I think we also need to be nimble. Things change around here. If there should be something groundbreaking that comes about with a proposal out there, I’m not going to foreclose the discussions.” She was optimistic that she would be able to get the support needed to clear the Senate. “I do believe we will have the 51 votes,” she said, but “I don’t have a cheat sheet today that says 51 votes.”

Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

E&E News I think it’s a situation where the legislative branch needs to tell an alphabet agency that we don’t need them looking over our shoulder, critiquing whether we’re moving quickly enough for them.

Harry Reid (D-Nev.)

E&E News Regan Lachapelle, a spokeswoman for Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), also pushed back at the Murkowski amendment, including the prospect it would undercut the EPA’s auto regulations. She put the onus on Republicans for not being more open to agreement on a broader climate bill. “There is no disagreement that it would be better for Congress to pass bipartisan comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that creates jobs, protects consumers, improves our energy security, and invests heavily in making our economy and businesses more efficient and globally competitive, than for EPA to move forward with command and control regulation of global warming pollution,” she said. “Unfortunately, thus far, very few Republicans have shown any willingness to work with us on that more constructive solution.”

Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

E&E News This country has put more money into nuclear fuel than any other fuel. I’d like to see volunteers, maybe Kentucky or Tennessee would volunteer, for places to store all that [nuclear] waste. I usually don’t see a lot of hands going up.

Olympia Snowe (R-Maine)

E&E News That’s [EPA regulation] a very serious step, frankly. I’ve expressed concerns, deep concerns, about that approach, absolutely.

Lincoln Cosponsors Murkowski Effort To Block Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 21 Jan 2010 16:45:00 GMT

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) announced today she is co-sponsoring Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s (R-Alaska) resolution of disapproval to block regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act, in a statement entitled “Lincoln Signs on to Resolution Blocking Heavy-Handed EPA Regulation” :

Washington – U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Chairman of the U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, issued the following statement today announcing her support for legislation to block efforts by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Lincoln agreed to cosponsor a resolution of disapproval to be introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska.

“I am very concerned about the burden that EPA regulation of carbon emissions could put on our economy and have questions about the actual benefit EPA regulations would have on the environment. Heavy-handed EPA regulation, as well as the current cap and trade bills in Congress, will cost us jobs and put us at an even greater competitive disadvantage to China, India and others.

“We can make immediate gains to reduce carbon emissions by sending the President bipartisan clean energy legislation produced by the Senate Energy Committee. This legislation, coupled with energy tax incentives, will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and incentivize renewable energy, all while improving the environment and creating much-needed jobs.

“We must focus on cutting the deficit, creating jobs and getting the economy back on track. Arkansans, and the American public, want Congress to take a breath, slow down, and thoughtfully come up with energy policy that makes common sense and will help grow our economy.”

Senate Watch, Post-Copenhagen: Bennett, Bond, Casey, Durbin, Graham, Inhofe, Kaufman, Kerry, Levin, McCain, Murkowksi, Nelson, Rockefeller, Voinovich

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 21 Dec 2009 23:45:00 GMT

Robert Bennett (R-Utah)

E&E News I don’t think they got anything in Copenhagen that encourages anyone. Except Jim Inhofe.

Kit Bond (R-Mo.)

E&E News on developing countries: They are going to continue to develop the energy they need. They’re not fools.

Bob Casey (D-Penn.)

Politico The reality for states like Pennsylvania is, even as we move forward with any kind of climate change legislation, there are going to be cost impacts. We want to make sure we’re not adding yet another cost impact that other countries don’t have to shoulder.

Dick Durbin (D-Ill.)

The Hill We’re going to move forward on it. I hope we can get it done this coming year.

Politico We have a responsibility to deal with this issue. We have to acknowledge the obvious. China, one of our great competitors in the world, is taking the green leap forward, as they say. They are committing themselves to this new energy-efficient economy, and they are building companies even in the United States that will make those products. Will the United States stand by the sidelines or will we be part of this leap forward? I don’t want to lose those jobs.

Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.)

The Hill I want to work with this administration, but this healthcare proposal has made it very hard for Republicans to sit down at the table with these guys, because of the way they have run over us. But at the end of the day we have more problems than just healthcare.

I want to help solve hard problems, but this healthcare bill has made a hard problem worse.

When [Venezuelan President] Hugo Chavez got a standing ovation in Copenhagen it made me sick to my stomach, but the only way he is relevant is because of the oil revenues.

I think in many ways it is going to be seen as ineffective, but it is some transparency that we don’t have today.

Politico If we don’t do it by then [pass legislation by spring], we’ll have a hard time doing it.

James Inhofe (R-Okla.)

E&E News Speed things along? You’ve got to be kidding me, surely you jest. ... Nothing was done, another total failure, just like all the rest of them.

Ted Kaufman (D-Del.)

Politico If China will not let us verify, we’re going to have a heck of a time here. An agreement’s no good if you can’t verify.

John Kerry (D-Mass.)

Politico Clearly, senators and congressmen were not going to do something if other people are not going to do something — so that’s a start. There’s still going to be people who resist, there’s still going to be naysayers, there’s still going to be people who doubt the science.

E&E News Now the proof will be in our willingness to do some things we need to do, and assuming we step up, I think that’s going to set an example to a lot of other countries. I think you had to have some deal where the major emitters are beginning to reduce. Having China at the table was the most critical thing because most of our colleagues are saying, ‘Well what about China? What about China? If they don’t do it, it won’t make any difference.’ The less developed countries, the truly less developed countries barely emit. And so we have some time to work with them to bring them to the table.

Carl Levin (D-Mich.)

E&E News Unless India and China are bound and we know what the details are—I don’t think necessarily that their agreeing to goals or whatever it was they agreed to will have an effect on cap and trade. If there was a binding agreement that tied them into limits that were meaningful, then I think that would have advanced the legislation. From what I understand of this, it’s more of agreeing to goals.

John McCain (R-Ariz.)

The Hill I think that the fact it has no binding provisions to it whatsoever is a rhetorical attempt to cover up what was obviously a serious failure.

E&E News “It’s a nothingburger,” said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), adding that while he had not read the actual language that was slowly emerging from Copenhagen, he had been told by others not to expect much.

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

E&E News Whenever you have developing countries, and certainly China and India stepping forward and indicating that they have a willingness to be a participant, I think that’s a strong indicator that we’ll have opportunities to be working and I think that that is progress.

Ben Nelson (D-Neb.)

E&E News Look, I don’t succumb to international pressure. Honestly, I think it’s something that we need to work with other countries on, but I don’t expect other countries to pressure us. This is not the United States’ responsibility to please the world, secure the world, or enforce against the world with these kinds of requirements. We need to participate to the extent we can and to me that’s our role.

Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.)

E&E News I think that the Chinese are perfectly capable of being on board for something and then not doing it.

George Voinovich (R-Ohio)

E&E News I know for a fact that even though the government of China says they are committed to X and Y, the economy in China is run by the governors of the state. . . We know that if we commit to something, we will do it.

15th Conference of the Parties - Climate Change Conference

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 07 Dec 2009 05:00:00 GMT



The sessions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change are open to Parties of the Convention and Observer States (Governments), the United Nations System and observer organizations duly admitted by the Conference of the Parties. In addition, accredited press is allowed to cover the proceedings of the Convention.

Participation in COP15 is restricted to duly nominated representatives of Parties, observer States, admitted observer organizations and accredited press/media. The sessions are not open to the public.

COP 15 comprises a number of sessions of the Subsidiary Bodies of the Convention, its Kyoto Protocol, bilateral and multilateral meetings as well as side events and exhibits.

Five Parties have recently made proposals for a protocol under the Convention pursuant to Article 17 of the Convention.

The secretariat has also received twelve proposals by Parties for amendment to the Kyoto Protocol pursuant to Articles 20 and 21 of the Protocol.

Senate Watch, China: Bingaman, Cantwell, Casey, Dorgan, Klobuchar, Lugar, Murkowski, Rockefeller, Whitehouse

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 02 Dec 2009 17:22:00 GMT

Senators respond to China’s recent emissions reduction announcement of lowering greenhouse gas intensity by 40 percent from 2005 levels by 2020. Several senators continue to move away from the legislative structure passed by the House of Representatives, and supported by President Obama and most industry advocates of reform.

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

E&E News Bill Wicker, a Bingaman spokesman, said the chairman supports the economywide cap-and-trade approach for reducing emissions but also sees some merits in the other ideas. Additionally, several panel members on both sides of the aisle have signaled interest in legislative options beyond the cap-and-trade bill approved earlier this spring in the House and now up for debate in the Senate. “We thought it’d be a good idea to step back and put all of the different policy options into a single hearing,” Wicker said.

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

E&E News By the time we’re done with financial regulatory reform, everybody’s head is going to be spinning and they’re going to be saying, “Oh my gosh, how can you prevent this from happening again?”

People are moving more toward something that’s much more streamlined. The bottom line is you don’t want to have added volatility to the market when trying to solve [the emissions] problem. And that’s clearly what the futures trading does. It adds volatility. What you want is a predictable price so that people can move forward and diversify.

Robert Casey (D-PA)

E&E News There’s a lot of verification we’re going to have to see before I’d embrace it [China’s announced GHG commitments] and say it’s as positive a development as the Chinese would hope we’d say it is. I’m a little skeptical is maybe the fastest way to say it.

So if we’ve got problems here in terms of working that out and making sure there are enough emission allowances for us to do what we need to do here, you can imagine how much more complicated it gets internationally.

Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

E&E News Some will make the case that if you do financial reform that setting up a Wall Street trading system on carbon securities is less dangerous. I am not interested in setting up a trillion-dollar carbon securities market to tell us what the price of energy is going to be.

E&E News It’s pretty clear to me that our nation is going to continue to use our most abundant resource, which is coal, but we’re going to use it differently. And the question is how do we do that. How do we find the science, technology and research capability to allow us to continue to use coal in a manner that would decarbonize it or use it in a much lower manner? This [CCS funding report] was a unique exercise and a unique product of thought, where several stakeholders have come together on a single issue. . . [It will provide] beneficial pathways for future legislation.

Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

E&E News The idea would be while the body is working on financial regulation, then during that same time we’ll be getting the energy, the bipartisan group working on energy.

Richard G. Lugar

E&E News I’d not be comfortable if the Copenhagen progress report relied on billions of dollars [in international assistance] anticipated from the U.S. budget that we’ve not debated and will be very contentious.

Lisa Murkowski (D-AK)

E&E News Robert Dillon, a spokesman for Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), offered Bingaman praise for keeping an open mind to alternatives. “Everyone assumes cap and trade is the only way to go,” Dillon said. “There’s been a demonization or marginalization of anyone raising other options.” As for Murkowski, a onetime supporter of cap-and-trade legislation, Dillon said, “She’s not promoting one idea over another yet. She’s exploring the options.”

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

E&E News The Chinese are a mystery that way. They enter negotiations always with an advantage because nobody knows what they’re going to do, what they’re going to say, or whether they mean it.

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

E&E News Unfortunately, we start from a position where there’s fairly considerable basis for skepticism on the enforcement side [for China emissions reductions], which means the administration has got to come up with a pretty solid program. It doesn’t matter what their numbers are if they don’t have to prove them.

Politico If we don’t provide those other technologies a level playing field, we provide an unfair advantage to the nuclear power industry at the expense of the American economy at large.

Senate Watch: Bingaman, Boxer, Lincoln, McCaskill, Merkley, McCain, Murkowski, Reid, Rockefeller, Sanders, Whitehouse 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:30:00 GMT

Numerous Democrats are voicing opposition to acting on climate change.

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

The Hill “We’ve got all kinds of difference of perspective of where the Senate is and where the votes are and where the Senate should try to move,” Bingaman said of his meeting with the other chairmen. Bingaman, the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he would be willing to pass energy legislation separately from a cap-and-trade bill to address climate change.

E&E News It’s pretty clear that there seems to be a developing consensus that we want a more flexible opportunity for all countries to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions. The idea that the only test of a country’s ability to achieve greenhouse gas reductions is whether they adopt a formal cap is just not necessarily the appropriate measure.

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

The Hill “I’d love to get it done tomorrow,” said Boxer, who acknowledged others are less intent on moving that quickly.

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

The Hill “I’m not in a hurry to do that,” she said of climate change legislation. “I think the energy bill we did in the Senate Energy Committee gets us a long way toward job creation and moving us from an old-energy economy to a new-energy economy, which is really what the objective is — lowering carbon output and lessening dependence on foreign oil.”

Claire McCaskill (R-MO)

Wall Street Journal It’s really big, really, really hard, and is going to make a lot of people mad. Climate fits that category.

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Politico There are folks who would say, ‘Well, let’s just shut down coal-powered plants.’ That is not going to happen. You are not going to have 60 votes in the Senate to shut down coal.

John McCain (R-AZ)

Wall Street Journal The delay was “just a matter of reality, they can’t get anything done at this time,” said Sen. John McCain, who has previously supported climate legislation. He has said he wouldn’t support the current Senate proposal because of disagreements over its handling of nuclear energy.

Lisa Murkowski (D-AK)

E&E News You know what, we’d get blamed at Copenhagen if we acted or if we didn’t act. It is what it is.

We’re obviously not going to be doing that [passing a climate bill] prior to Copenhagen. Do we walk into Copenhagen with this label that the U.S. has failed?

Harry Reid (D-NV)

The Hill When asked Tuesday about the timing for climate change legislation, he told reporters that “we are going to try to do that sometime in the spring.”

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

The Hill Most of the country doesn’t know what cap-and-trade is. They have no idea. I would say half the Senate have no idea what cap-and-trade is and could not explain it.

He said climate legislation should not reach the floor before July of next year, putting the controversial bill on the schedule only months before Election Day. “You have to get this stuff out to the American people before you change their lives, and we are not paying any attention to that,” Rockefeller said.

Rockefeller said his state would be the most affected and that his residents need more time to know what the bill is about. “Right now they don’t, and therefore they are terrified and furious, and I don’t blame them,” he said.

National Journal I’ve got a responsibility to let them know what their options are. But nobody can talk about options right now. I think my problem with climate change right now is that it’s a subject that relatively few people know about. It’s sort of an elitist subject.

Politico They don’t have a deal until they get the coal-state senators, and they are a long way from doing it. They’re going to need us to pass a bill.

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Politico “I’ll do everything I can to oppose that,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said of the lowered targets.

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Politico I think there’s a danger that coal interests will demand such a large share of the proceeds of the bill that it creates a backlash. So I think they’ve got to be aware of their own prudential limitations.

Senate Watch: Cardin, Conrad, Dorgan, Graham, Grassley, Kerry, Lieberman, Lugar, Murkowski, Rockefeller

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 16 Nov 2009 14:28:00 GMT

As international leaders let the timetable for a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol slip to 2010, Republicans call for “starting from scratch” as Democrats and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) hope that spring will be a final deadline for passage of climate legislation.

Ben Cardin (D-MD)

E&E News Conventional wisdom is that you have until the spring to get controversial issues moving. If not, it’s difficult to see getting through closer to the elections.

Kent Conrad (D-ND)

E&E News I’m encouraged by it. Senator Kerry has certainly been good at reaching out. He’s been very serious about reaching out. We’ve been sharing things with him. We have more to share. He’s very good at listening, which is the best way of succeeding around here.

Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

Politico Good policy is going to be left behind by the insistence that the climate change bill has to be done first or together.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

E&E News We don’t want it to slip into the summer.

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

E&E News But I do appreciate what Lindsey Graham is trying to do in the sense of nuclear and more offshore drilling.

Several senators say they would prefer to have a better idea what major developing countries plan to do under the auspices of the U.N. talks before they sign off on any domestic emission restrictions. “That’d make a big difference. If we passed a bill that the rest of the world didn’t follow, then Uncle Sam could soon become Uncle Sucker and export all of our jobs to China.”

John Kerry (D-MA)

E&E News If you get into an artificial timeline, then you don’t give people the opportunity to feel they’re being listened to, or their ideas are being processed. Let’s just work it day to day and we’ll see where we are. Maybe something breaks and you move faster than you thought? Maybe something slows you down because you need another figure or analysis? What I feel confident about, and what I think is important for the legislative tracking, if you will, is every day we’re making progress.

Joe Lieberman (I-CT)

E&E News Lieberman said he hoped Baucus would chime in before Reid sends the overall bill on to CBO and EPA for analysis. “The framework won’t be whole without that.”

Richard Lugar (R-IN)

E&E News I don’t want to deter for a moment the enthusiasm of this particular conference. But I need some benchmarks of how we measure what occurs. I want to know the costs, what’s anticipated, what the outline really creates at a time when really my constituents and those of my colleagues are talking principally in this country about unemployment, about the recovery of our economy, of how we make headway in terms of conservation efforts to save money.

I don’t see any climate legislation on the table here now that I’d support. We really have to start from scratch again, and I think there are ways of doing that.

Lisa Murkowski (D-AK)

E&E News Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) said she is willing to work on climate and energy legislation with the three senators “if they can find some middle path that perhaps we haven’t pursued.” “It depends how it’s handled. If the way EPW handled climate change is the way it’s going to roll out from here, it’s doomed.”

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

E&E News There’s some possibility of people saying that it’s too controversial a bill in an election year. Which is sort of the opposite of how a democracy ought to work. You go ahead and take your chances on that and you get re-elected. But people’s business comes first.

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