Senate Watch, Slowing Progress: Baucus, Harkin, Kerry, Lieberman, Lugar

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 12 Nov 2009 13:15:00 GMT

Max Baucus (D-Mont.)

Wall Street Journal It’s common understanding that climate-change legislation will not be brought up on the Senate floor and pass the Senate this year.

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

AgricultureOnline Quite frankly, I don’t know that we’re going to do anything on it until next year because we have the health bill.

John Kerry (D-Mass.)

Politico As soon as it is practical with respect to the health care debate and financial regulator reform this legislation will come to the floor of the Senate and the United States Senate will do its part.

Wall Street Journal I don’t want to create artificial deadlines which get in the way of our being methodical about this. The main thing to do here is to build the adequate base of support and consensus.

Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)

Politico I feel the meetings that Sen. Kerry and Graham and I have had so far that we are making some progress here and we can move it along.

Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)

Wall Street Journal I don’t see any climate bill on the table right now that I can support. We really have to start from scratch again.

Senate Watch: Baucus, Kerry, Menendez

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 10 Nov 2009 12:53:00 GMT

Max Baucus (D-MT)

Washington Independent I am committed to passing meaningful, balanced climate-change legislation. I am committed to legislation that will protect our land and those whose livelihood depends on it. I want our children and grandchildren to be able to enjoy the outdoors the way that we can today. So I’m going to work to pass climate-change legislation that is both meaningful and that can muster enough votes to become law. [...] Let me be clear. We should work to minimize any job losses. But we should recognize that in the case of acid rain [in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments], the negative [economic] consequences were far less than projected. We should keep this in mind when similar claims are made about the effects of legislation to address climate change.

Reuters We can not allow our manufacturing industries to fade as result of trade with countries that refuse to negotiate global solutions to global concerns. We must push our trading partners to do their part to curb harmful emissions and we must devise a border measure, consistent with our international obligations, to prevent the carbon leakage that would occur if US manufacturing shifts to countries without effective climate change programs.

John Kerry (D-MA)

DTN Well, EPA is poised to move. Everybody needs to understand that. I’m going to make this as clear as I can: I don’t think anybody is going to wind up [blocking] EPA, because there’s filibuster-proof capacity to prevent that from happening. I’ll personally stand on the Senate floor, day and night, to prevent that from happening. Therefore, success in this is not defined by stopping a Senate bill. The reason is, EPA will then regulate without assistance to coal, without allocation of allowances that help companies to make the transition. And then you’re out there on your own. So the game in town, folks, is here. It’s in the Congress, where we have the ability to mitigate the transitional costs and to be reasonable in the process. That’s something people really need to focus on.

Robert Menendez (D-NJ)

E&E News Right now, plenty of other nations, including China, are ahead of us in manufacturing solar power technology, which better positions them for economic strength in the 21st Century. We have always been a world leader in innovation, and it’s time that we grab this economic opportunity.

Senate Watch: Baucus, Chambliss, Graham, Gregg, Harkin, Murkowski, Nelson, Rockefeller, Specter

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 09 Nov 2009 12:59:00 GMT

Senators lay out their agenda after the Environment and Public Works Committee reported out the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.

Max Baucus (D-MT)

E&E News That frees up the Senate, frankly. It frees up all members of the Senate who are interested in climate change, including those on the committee.

I don’t want to say we’re going to do something totally different. I’m respectful of the House allocation.

We have to be sensitive to our own industries, as other countries are sensitive to theirs. I strongly believe that an open trading system benefits all countries. It’d be unwise to retrench.

On his idea for triggers for stronger targets That’s something we can work out. Climate change is going to be with us, legislative efforts are going to be with us for a while. It’s not going to happen tomorrow. Plenty of time to work on this.

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

Wall Street Journal The actions the EPA has taken and its plans to regulate greenhouse gases are a serious concern. However, EPA’s actions should not scare Congress into passing bad legislation.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

Politico Now, it’s time to find a bill that will make good policy. Clearly, there are not 60 votes for that product.

E&E News I appreciate the committee’s work. Now it’s time to find a bill that can make good policy. Environmental policy needs to be good business policy. If it’s not, there will never be 60 votes.

Judd Gregg (R-NH)

Politico It’s hard to vote on a bill that big without knowing what it’s going to do. I don’t think that bill is viable in its present form, because we don’t know what it does.

Tom Harkin (D-IA)

E&E News on the 50-50 split of allocations to utilities based on retail sales and historic emissions It’s going to be changed. It can’t stay at 50-50. It won’t. It can’t.

Lisa Murkowski (D-AK)

E&E News I think it has left clearly a very bitter taste in many members’ mouths about how we’re part of a process on a very important issue. This may stall things out for a period of time.

Politico It dooms that particular legislation. The question is what comes next. We will see what Plan B is.

E&E News We’ve been talking a lot about starting over with a blank piece of paper. I think this might allow for that. If that’s the case, that’s a positive.

Ben Nelson (D-NE)

Politico I don’t know that I’m playing a key role, but we’re talking. I think that’s important.

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

E&E News What they have to understand is that the Senate is not ready to travel at their rate. And that the balance on this is among people like myself who come from coal state and manufacturing states who can’t just sort of meet the Copenhagen deadline. We’ve got to be satisfied that it’s a good bill and I’m not at this point.

Arlen Specter (D-PA)

Politico I think the bill could have been improved substantially.

Designing a Cap-and-Trade System for the United States

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 04 Nov 2009 20:30:00 GMT

Attention to U.S. climate legislation is increasing on Capitol Hill. In June of this year, the House passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act introduced by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), and the Senate is considering a similar proposal by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). With international climate negotiations scheduled in Copenhagen for December, many view U.S. action on this issue as critical to a successful outcome. As a result, the central debate is no longer about the need for action, but about the form our actions will take.

On November 4, the Brookings Institution will host a discussion on a new series of papers on U.S. climate policy design. Each paper tackles a different design topic, but they all share a common set of goals: to acknowledge the complexity inherent in climate policy; to explain the fundamental challenges involved in addressing a particular set of design features; and to suggest a credible path forward, calling attention to tradeoffs where they exist. Panelists will focus on such issues as emissions reduction targets, cost containment measures, oversight of the carbon derivatives market, the allocation of emissions allowances and provisions to mitigate the impacts on trade-exposed industries.

After the panel, participants will take audience questions.

3:30 pm–3:45 am

Welcoming Remarks and Introduction

Charles Ebinger, Senior Fellow and Director, Energy Security Initiative, The Brookings Institution

3:45 pm–5:00 pm


  • Bryan Mignone, Fellow (on leave), The Brookings Institution
  • Adele C. Morris, Fellow and Policy Director, Climate and Energy Economics Project, The Brookings Institution
  • Carolyn Fischer, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Richard Morgenstern, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Craig Pirrong, Professor of Finance and Energy Markets Director for the Global Energy Management Institute, Bauer College of Business, University of Houston

To RSVP for this event, please call the Office of Communications at 202.797.6105 or click here.

The Brookings Institution
Falk Auditorium
1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036

Senate Watch: Boxer, Harkin, Kerry, Lugar, Lautenberg, Voinovich

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 04 Nov 2009 12:11:00 GMT

Senators attempt to negotiate the partisan battle over moving the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733) forward.

Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.)

E&E News We think this is going the extra mile for our friends on the other side, and we really hope they’ll return to the table. They have every reason to do that.

Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)

E&E News I believe that Americans will accept higher prices as necessary for increasing our energy security and making necessary reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, but they also expect that the burden should be shared across the country.

John Kerry (D-Mass.)

E&E News Over the years, whether it was with the leadership of Senator Jack Heinz, Senator John McCain or Senator John Warner, we’ve made progress on climate change when we’ve been able to overcome partisan divisions. We’ve never needed to do that more than today.

Richard Lugar (R-Ind.)

E&E News [Boxer’s planned markup] would not be constructive as far as progress on the bill is concerned. I suspect that there’d be no particular reason for many members to support it.

Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

E&E News Their behavior challenges everything that we’re about here: “If you don’t like it, turn your back and walk out.” It’s almost like school children over there.

George Voinovich (R-Ohio)

E&E News I think we’ve made it pretty clear that we want a complete analysis of the bill. It’s been made clear to her that’s what we want. I think it’s a sensible approach because of the fact this is probably the most important piece of legislation this committee has undertaken since the Clean Air Act itself, maybe even more important.

Senate Watch, Targets and Allocations: Bond, Byrd, Carper, Casey, Dorgan, Graham, Inhofe, Murkowski, Rockefeller, Specter, Vitter, Voinovich

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 30 Oct 2009 09:59:00 GMT

Kit Bond (R-MO)

E&E News It’s a smaller pie. People want to know what’s going on. We’re still trying to figure out how these complicated, cockamamie schemes are going to work. Anything that’s that complicated is by definition highly suspect and the more I hear, the more I suspect.

Robert Byrd (D-WV)

Reuters Byrd praised Boxer’s additions in the bill that put more focus on clean coal technology. But he warned, “I will actively oppose any bill that would harm the workers, families, industries, or our esource-based economy in West Virginia.”

Tom Carper (D-DE)

E&E News Carper said he would pursue his measure to cut power plants’ emissions of soot, mercury, SOx and NOxas stand-alone legislation if it does not make it into the bill. “One way or another,” he said.

Robert Casey (D-PA)

Politico The target’s certainly a change from where the House was, and that’s going to be a subject of debate.

Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

Politico We’ll see what they put together in EPW, but I think it’s going to be very hard for them to pass legislation unless they have substantial discussions with moderate senators and address their concerns.

Lindsey Graham (R-SC)

The Hill This administration is not going to allow offshore drilling for oil and gas unless it’s part of some bigger deal. I don’t think you’ll ever have offshore drilling for oil and gas until you marry it up with emissions controls. They don’t have 60 votes for environmental policy in the House and the Senate because it’s bad for business. All of these bills, I couldn’t support because they’re cap and trade legislation that really does put us at a competitive disadvantage.

James Inhofe (R-OK)

Washington Post Science is not settled! Everyone knows it’s not settled!

Lisa Murkowski (D-AK)

E&E News An exercise akin to doling out pieces of a pie. But as climate legislation is developed in the Senate, we’re faced with a hard reality. There aren’t enough pieces left to satisfy the groups vying for them to repeat this process a second time.

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

Reuters An aide to West Virginia Democratic Senator John Rockefeller said the tougher emissions goal is unrealistic and harmful as there is not enough time to deploy the carbon capture and storage and energy efficiency technologies.

Arlen Specter (D-PA)

Politico New West Politics “There is a great deal to be gained by certainty so people can make plans. If the EPA continues to have flexibility we don’t know where we are. . . . That’s really our job.

David Vitter (R-LA)

Heritage This legislation represents a new tax in the order of more than $1,700 per American household annually, and, if it’s passed, American families can expect to see considerable increases in the cost of electricity, gas, food and utilities. It is clear that most Americans families’ standard of living will be reduced if this cap-and-trade bill is approved by Congress.

The greatest opportunity for investment in new technologies is revenue generated from increased domestic energy production. Recent analysis suggests that increased domestic resource production could generate $8 trillion in GDP, $2.2 trillion in incremental tax receipts and perhaps two million jobs or more – all without borrowing a dime or increasing taxes even a penny.

George Voinovich (R-OH)

NASDAQ California is going to make out like a bandit with this legislation. To jam this thing through here is not going to be good and America is going to be very, very upset about it.

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?

S. 1733, Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act: Impacts & Adaptation

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 28 Oct 2009 18:00:00 GMT

  • Shari T. Wilson, Secretary, Maryland Department of the Environment
  • Ronald E. Young, President, California Association of Sanitation Agencies
  • Dr. Peter C. Frumhoff, Chief Scientist, Climate Campaign, Union of Concerned Scientists
  • Larry J. Schweiger, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Wildlife Federation
  • Fawn Sharp, President, Quinault Indian Nation
  • Jim Sims, President and Chief Executive Officer, Western Business Roundtable
  • Kenneth P. Green, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

S. 1733, Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act: Electric Sector

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 28 Oct 2009 17:00:00 GMT

  • David Crane, President and Chief Executive Officer, NRG Energy, Inc.
  • Ralph Izzo, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated (PSEG)
  • Kevin Law, President and Chief Executive Officer, Long Island Power Authority
  • Nathaniel Keohane, Director of Economic Policy and Analysis, Environmental Defense Fund
  • Joel Bluestein, Senior Vice President, ICF International
  • Barry Hart, Chief Executive Officer, Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives
  • Dustin Johnson, Commissioner, South Dakota Public Utilities Commission

Senate Watch, Progressives: Gillibrand, Lautenberg, Merkley, Sanders, Whitehouse

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 28 Oct 2009 16:49:00 GMT

Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.)

Daily Kos I am working hard on EPW to make the bill as strong as possible—I want the Clean Air Act to regulate coal emissions, I want to make sure we get funding for mass transit (New York uses 1/3 of all mass transit in America), we need green taxis and green jobs funding, and it’s important that agriculture has a place in the offsets market. I plan to support the bill assuming it’s a progressive approach to lowering carbon emissions and creating jobs through the new green economy.

1Sky The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act preserves Clean Air Act authority to regulate the nation’s oldest and dirtiest coal plants. These protections are critical to New Yorkers, as we are on the receiving end of air pollution from many of these plants – contributing to acid rain, harming natural resources such as the Adirondacks, increasing contamination in our waterways, limiting the number of fish we can eat, and increasingly growing asthma rates that raise our health care costs.

Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)

1Sky Wake up, America – your kids are in danger!

Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.)

1Sky This is a choice between planetary stewardship, or a rise in the earth’s temperature that is devastating to human civilizations… 20% by 2020 is not an overly aggressive goal… in fact, you could argue that this bill is not moving fast enough. The IPCC says that in order to have a reasonable probability of [averting dangerous climate change,] developed countries should decrease their emissions [by even more].

Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont)

1Sky What we are dealing with is not a political compromise. We are dealing with science!

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)

I very very strongly believe that it is time that these power plants are held accountable! They have dodged around the law for too long, and their corporate lobbyists have won against our children’s lungs, and I for one am fed up with it! So I for one will stand firm on the Clean Air Act, and I hope many of my colleagues will support me on that.

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