Fall Legislative Outlook

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 18 Sep 2007 14:17:00 GMT


According to CQ.com, Senate Environment and Public Works Committee chair Barbara Boxer asked Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., and John W. Warner, R-Va., “to write a bill that would cap nationwide greenhouse gas emissions.” They released the skeleton of the legislation in August and plan to introduce a final draft by the end of September. However, “Because the climate-change issue is so complex, marking up the bill will be no small task.” There are several other climate bills, including S. 309 (Sanders-Boxer) and S.1766 (Bingaman-Specter).

CQ.com reports that Harry Reid “plans to allow floor time for the Lieberman-Warner bill this fall if it wins approval in Boxer’s committee. No matter what the bill looks like, it will face procedural objections that can be overcome only with a 60-vote majority. It is unclear whether Reid would have enough votes to move beyond that obstacle.”


According to CQ, Energy and Commerce Committee chair John D. Dingell, D-Mich., also intends to introduce climate legislation to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 60 percent to 80 percent by 2050, although he has not announced any specific plans for the bill.

A first hurdle is the reconciliation process for the energy legislation that passed each chamber (HR 3221, and the Senate version of HR 6), which Dingell will be heavily involved in.

Dingell also announced his intentions to introduce global warming legislation for a carbon tax, a hike in the gas tax, and ending the McMansion mortgage deduction (homes larger than 3,000 square feet) while increasing the Earned Income Tax Credit and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program.

John Dingell Announces Global Warming Proposal 3

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 13 Aug 2007 19:30:00 GMT

At his town hall meeting last week, House Energy and Commerce chairman John Dingell unveiled the outline of his global warming legislative plan, which he will introduce in committee on September 1:
  • cap-and-trade system with an 80% cap by 2050
  • $100 per ton CO2 emissions tax
  • 50-cent increase in federal gax tax
  • funding for research on renewable energy
  • ending the McMansion mortgage deduction (homes larger than 3,000 square feet)
Glenn Hurwitz at Grist pens a stinging assessment of the chairman: Dingell is dispensible.
So far, he’s fought hard against all steps forward, but it hasn’t made much difference in policy. That suggests that environmentalists and Democrats would be well served to reconsider conventional wisdom about Dingell. Partly because of his gratuitous and repeated swipes at leadership and the environmental movement, his sway with both leadership and rank-and-file Democrats is considerably less than it once was. As the RES vote and Hoyer’s prediction that Congress will pass aggressive fuel efficiency standards shows, his support is no longer essential to passing major environmental legislation. This doesn’t mean that Democrats or environmentalists can ignore all sometime-opponents of environmental progress within the caucus (some, like Gene Green and Charlie Gonzalez, have shown that they retain considerable pull), but it does mean we can stop obsessing about Dingell.
Earlier at Grist David Roberts criticized the Greenpeace activists protesting Dingell’s recent efforts to block an increase in CAFE standards: Dingell’s dimwitted detractors.
Argh. Silly, gimmicky, irrational crap. If this is what Dingell runs into, it’s no wonder he holds green activists in such contempt. Relative to what Dingell’s proposing, the difference between a 35mpg CAFE (which he supports) and a 45mpg or 50mpg CAFE (which greens support) is meaningless. Utterly and completely trivial. A distraction. If we could get in place a carbon tax and a cap-and-trade system, the effects will dwarf minor changes in CAFE. Instead of hectoring Dingell about CAFE, activists should be using their energy to push other legislators to support these bills.

Dingell-Global Warming Town Hall

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 08 Aug 2007 21:30:00 GMT

John Dingell’s second global warming town hall in Michigan’s 15th District.

University of Michigan – Dearborn Social Sciences Building 4901 Evergreen Road Dearborn, MI 48124

Dingell-Global Warming Town Hall

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 07 Aug 2007 19:30:00 GMT

During a Global Warming Town Hall meeting in Ann Arbor on Tuesday, August 7, Congressman John D. Dingell (D-MI15) will take questions regarding a carbon tax bill he intends to introduce as part of a multi-tiered approach to reducing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions.

Under Dingell’s leadership, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed energy efficiency legislation that would remove from the atmosphere more than 10 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions (through the year 2030), which is more than the annual emissions of all cars on American roads today. The legislation is expected to pass the full House this week.

In the fall, Dingell also plans to develop a comprehensive, mandatory, economy-wide program with the goal of achieving as much as an 80 percent reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. He is a co-sponsor of the Hill-Terry bill, HR 2927, which would mandate separate car and truck standards to meet a total fleet fuel economy standard between 32 and 35 mpg by 2022; increases up to 40 percent over current standards.

Pioneer High School Schreiber Auditorium 601 W. Stadium Blvd Ann Arbor, MI 48103