Senate Watch: Bond, Boxer, Brown, Cantwell, Carper, Corker, Inhofe, Kerry, Lincoln, Nelson, Stabenow, Udall

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 29 Sep 2009 00:38:00 GMT

The rhetoric and campaigning heats up as Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) prepare to unveil climate legislation on Wednesday, September 30th.

Kit Bond (R-MO)

St. Louis Post-Dispatch They were 30,000 petitions gathered by the Missouri Association of Electric Cooperatives urging Bond, R-Mo., to oppose present versions of cap-and-trade legislation to combat global warming as Congress gets ready to see a new bill this week. “I think certain people pushing this bill see me as one of the biggest thorns in their sides. If they don’t now, they will,” said Bond, who was on hand to receive the postcards.

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

E&E News “The legislation is going to be very interesting to people because we did some really different things and we’re excited about it.”

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

E&E News “It’s going to need a lot of work.” Brown said he did not expect the Boxer-Kerry bill to include language adopted in the House that tries to assist energy-intensive manufacturing industries, including steel, pulp and paper and cement. “My understanding is they did not include the House language on manufacturing. But I’ve been talking to them about it. They are very open to it. They are in no way dismissive.”

E&E News Both Brown and Stabenow said they would welcome the release of the Senate bill even though it will give critics something tangible to target. “It always does. There is always something to shoot at. But I think it is the right step, and then we start working to improve it.”

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

Des Moines Register “We are seeing a system that is just inherent with special interests.”

Tom Carper (D-DE)

Sussex Countian “We must act to reduce black carbon – a dangerous pollutant emitted by old, dirty diesel engines like those in some school buses and thought to be the second largest contributor to global warming after carbon dioxide.”

Bob Corker (R-TN)

Des Moines Register Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., called the proposed credit trading a “Rube Goldberg notion” that would wind up “transferring wealth out of this country to other countries around the world.”

James Inhofe (R-OK)

Inhofe “I think the best way to help Sen. Kerry define cap-and-trade is to turn to Rep. John Dingell ( D-MI ), who said that cap-and-trade ‘is a tax, and a great big one.’ No matter the semantic games employed, or the extent to which Democrats wish to hide the truth from the American people, cap-and-trade will mean more job losses, more pain at the pump, and higher food and electricity prices for consumers. Despite the post-modern denial of ‘the truth’, in which words can mean whatever one chooses, the legislation on display next week will be cap-and-trade, pure and simple. And if the House Waxman-Markey bill is any guide, it will showcase a massive expansion of government mandates, spending, taxes, and energy rationing, all with meaningless effect on climate change. I hope we have an open, transparent, civil debate about cap-and-trade and energy security. It’s critical that we get this right, for in order to get American moving again, we need an abundant, reliable domestic energy supply that creates jobs and keeps energy prices affordable for businesses, consumers, and families.”

John Kerry (D-MA)

E&E News “It will be out next week. We will meet our target. I said I would introduce it by the end of the month, and we will introduce it on the 30th, Wednesday.”

E&E News “I don’t know what ‘cap and trade’ means. I don’t think the average American does. This is not a cap-and-trade bill, it’s a pollution reduction bill.”

E&E News “I hope what we’ve done is constructive and well-received. I have no pretensions, and neither does Barbara, that this will be the final product. It is a starting point, a commitment, full-fledged, across party lines to do what we need to do to protect the planet for the next century.”

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

E&E News “I have certainly indicated to them that I am looking forward to the role that agriculture can play. Our hope is that we will be able to offer recommendations, and we will hope that those will be some recommendations that can be incorporated into the bill. I don’t think it will be a necessity that we have to mark anything up. I hope it won’t be.”

Ben Nelson (D-NE)

E&E News “I don’t know that it changes opinions necessarily, but at least you can talk about specific provisions, and maybe the debate can narrow down to specific items, as opposed to just generally whether you are for or against the idea.”

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

E&E News “We will certainly be very involved with allocations. You can expect Finance to hold hearings and play a specific role.”

E&E News “We will have to take a look at the language and then determine it from there.”

Mark Udall (D-CO)

University of Colorado at Boulder Colorado Sen. Mark Udall commended the university for the unique effort to localize and promote better understanding of climate change in Colorado. “I would encourage all Westerners to take action to address this critical issue by using this new tool to discover ways to conserve our region’s valuable and limited resources. I hope this Web site will open many minds – not only to the enormous challenge climate change poses for our communities – but also to the opportunities we can pursue to strengthen our economy and promote a more sustainable energy future.”

Senate Watch, Moving Slowly: Barrasso, Baucus, Boxer, Durbin, Kerry, McCain, Reid

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 23 Sep 2009 13:41:00 GMT

Speaking at the United Nations Climate Summit, President Barack Obama said “the time we have to reverse this tide is running out.” E&E News interviewed Senators on their schedule for action.

John Barrasso (R-WY)

“Nearly 1 in 10 Americans are looking for work. President Obama’s scheme is for less American energy production. Less energy production will mean fewer jobs for Americans.”

Max Baucus (D-MT)

Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) also said yesterday that he is still planning a markup for key pieces of the climate bill that deal with international trade and allocation of allowances. “I’m going to take my cues largely from leader Reid to see what his schedule is, and how quickly climate change is moving this year. If it looks like it’s clearly moving, we’re going to mark up.”

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

For her part, Boxer would not give any specifics when asked about her timeline for moving the bill through the Environment and Public Works Committee. “We’re going to mark up shortly. As soon as we’ve held the requisite number of hearings.”

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) was also circumspect about Obama’s call for moving the climate bill. “I want to get to all of these issues this year, as the president has asked us to. But I think Senator Reid is reflecting the reality of the calendar, and we just have to see what we end up with. Senator Boxer is preparing for the debate. She’s ready. But the question is whether we have the time to treat this issue as it should.” “The Europeans are our friends and allies and we need to work with them and the rest of the world on this climate change issue. But unfortunately, the European Union doesn’t have control over the Senate calendar. And Senator Reid, I think, is being honest that this is becoming problematic the longer it takes for us to get to health care.”

John Kerry (D-MA)

Boxer and Kerry are still aiming to release their legislation before the end of the month, though Kerry yesterday tried to give himself a little bit of wiggle room for its formal unveiling. “That’s our current plan. But we’ve got a lot of drafting to do between now and then. But we’re working on it.”

John McCain (R-AZ)

“I’ll take second place to no one on climate change. I introduced the first cap-and-trade bill on the Senate floor. I introduced the second. All of them had nuclear power as a component. The radical environmentalists are driving the agenda. And for someone to say that they have a robust nuclear element, I’d love to see it. There’s been no indication of it.”

Harry Reid (D-NV)

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) yesterday sidestepped a question about whether he would hold a vote before the end of the year on the Boxer-Kerry legislation. “We’re going to push climate as hard and as fast as we can.”

Senate Watch, Senate Under Pressure: Cardin, Carper, Durbin, Inhofe, Kerry, Lautenberg, Lugar, McCain, Murkowski, Nelson, Warner, Whitehouse

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 23 Sep 2009 11:36:00 GMT

“Sometimes in this country the greatest deliberative body in the world acts as though it is the only deliberative body in the world, and that we should wait until it gets its healthcare passed,” the EU’s ambassador to the US, John Bruton, has complained. “The world cannot wait on the Senate’s timetable.”

Ben Cardin (D-MD)

E&E News “We’re not at 60 votes yet. But there are a lot of potential senators who could be part of that 60.” “We think we can get Republican support for this bill. Not just one senator, but several.” “It’s not easy to predict how we’ll complete the work this year. But we’re making every effort to get it done this year. We’re certainly working toward concrete progress before the Copenhagen meetings. I think we’re clearly working with the goal of action this year.”

Tom Carper (D-DE)

Tom Carper “We always talk about silver linings. The fact we’ve slowed down on health care I think gives us a chance to do a better job on the clean energy front. We need to take advantage of that.”

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

The Hill “I wish we could have done everything we had to do by now, but it just takes time. It’s a new president, a new Congress and a big agenda. It just takes time.”

Jim Inhofe (R-OK)

USA Today If the deal making in Copenhagen leads to a new pact that would harm the U.S. economy, “no such treaty or agreement can be approved by the Senate,” says Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.

John Kerry (D-MA)

E&E News Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), Boxer’s lead co-pilot in writing the climate bill, said that the authors are in talks with their fellow Democrats on carbon market oversight, as well as funding for clean coal technology, other low-carbon energy technologies and adaptation. “There are a lot of different pieces,” Kerry said. Asked how often he is counting votes, Kerry replied, “Every day.”

The Hill “The U.S. has been dragging its feet for eight years.”

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

E&E News As for specifics, Boxer had been under pressure from her left to ramp up the House-passed bill’s 2020 target from 17 percent to 20 percent. “I don’t have to prevail on Senator Boxer,” said Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). “She knows what’s right.” “I’m feeling pretty good about the tactics, the strategy, that as much as possible, we’d like it to include Republicans. The one thing I believe, bipartisanship is a means, not an ends.”

Dick Lugar (R-IN)

The Hill “I don’t know that we’ve pulled back. It’s just the formulation from the House I find objectionable on many grounds. Without jumping up and down any further, I think more constructive ways of fighting climate change can be found and I’ll be working to find it.”

John McCain (R-AZ)

E&E News When asked about Bruton’s criticism, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) shot back, “Well, I don’t think there are 10 Americans that know who he is.”

Lisa Murkowski (R-AK)

Washington Post “I believe very strongly that action on climate change has to include meaningful reductions. We have also got to make sure that we don’t kick the economy in the head.”

The Hill “There are some who are saying that we have to hurry up and do it yesterday because Copenhagen is coming. This is a serious enough issue that we must take the time to do it right.”

Ben Nelson (D-NE)

E&E News “The alphabet agencies are not the fourth branch of government, and they ought to take judicial notice of what’s happening and what’s not happening in the Senate,” Nelson said last week when asked about the prospect of EPA climate regulations.

The Hill Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.), who opposed a global warming bill creating a cap-and-trade system last year, said he doesn’t pay much attention to what people from other countries say about the Senate. “We’re going to do it the way we think it’s appropriate to do it. And we will not be driven by their criticisms.”

Mark Warner (D-VA)

The Hill “I’m not sure that the Senate is going to be dictated by the timing in December. It would be helpful to go to that very important meeting with legislation, but I’m not sure people are going to feel comfortable rushing it.”

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

The Hill Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said the EU is right to blame the Senate for blocking long-needed action. “Partly, it’s the fact that healthcare is crowding everything else out, but it’s also partly because the polluting industries see the Senate as a place where they can hold 40 votes,” Whitehouse said.

Senate Watch: Boxer, Brown, Chambliss, Durbin, Feingold, Grassley, Johanns, Lincoln, Nelson, Rockefeller

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 11 Sep 2009 01:26:00 GMT

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

E&E News For her part, Boxer brushed aside Lincoln’s public opposition to the cap-and-trade bill. “She’s such an expert on agriculture. It’s great,” Boxer said. “And I look forward to working with her on all of the issues, including climate.”

Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Reuters “People are so focused on healthcare, there haven’t been a lot of discussions,” on the climate bill worries, Brown added. Meanwhile, Senator Blanche Lincoln, who is taking over the chairmanship of the influential Senate Agriculture Committee, on Wednesday fretted climate change legislation would hurt farm profitability through higher energy costs. It would be “a heavy lift” to pass a climate change bill this year, she predicted. “In this economy, it is important to take it one step at a time,” she said as she praised the pending energy bill.

Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)

E&E News In contrast to the Democrats, several GOP members of the agriculture panel said Lincoln’s recent comments against the climate bill indicate she could be independent of Democratic leadership. “I think it could, but I don’t know,” said ranking member Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). “I can’t jump inside her mind and see. It has the potential to change it.”

Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Reuters “It’s a difficult schedule” with many members already “anxious” about healthcare reform, Senator Dick Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat, told Reuters when asked about prospects this year for a bill to cap emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases.

Russ Feingold (D-WI)

Wisconsin Business “I’m not signing onto any bill that rips off Wisconsin,” Feingold declared, arguing the bill’s mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions could put the coal-dependent Badger State at an economic disadvantage compared to other regions and nations. “Western Wisconsin is particularly strong in being concerned about this because of their reliance on coal,” Feingold said of the bill, which has already passed the House. “There is a real possibility … that it will be unfair to Wisconsin and Wisconsin ratepayers.” In addition to fixing the bill’s carbon allocations to put the Midwest on better economic footing with the rest of the country, Feingold was among 10 senators to recently raise the possibility of levying tariffs on other nations – including China – that may not practice comparable environmental responsibility. ”Why should we leave ourselves completely exposed while they just get to go forward?” Feingold asked.

Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

U.S. Senate Well, I think cap-and-trade is pushed back anyway because it’s probably more sweeping in its impact on the economy than even what we’re talking about, health care. But I don’t think, particularly, our committee’s got time to do both. And our committee isn’t the only one involved in cap-and-trade because the Energy and Environment Committees haven’t put out anything yet at this point. So I don’t think we’ll act until they act. But it’s become somewhat controversial, as well. Well, I would say the House bill is very, very controversial. And I can tell you, right now, I wouldn’t vote for the House bill. But the – I got to wait and comment on the Senate bill after the committee in the Senate puts a bill out.

I would like to not look at legislation within the Congress. I’d like to focus my attention on a worldwide agreement. Because if we don’t include China and India, we’re going to export all of our manufacturing. And that’s one reason why I’m against the House bill. Senate bill might not be much better. It might take into consideration the really devastating impact it has on the economy of the Midwest, because we produce much – so much for coal. We might be able to do better than that in the House. But that’s still not going to solve the problem of an unlevel playing field for all of America versus China and India. So a worldwide agreement has two advantages. One, it either brings China and – it either brings China and India in under the same caps we have, so we have a level playing field, so we won’t export our manufacturing, all of it to China. And it also has the benefit of requiring a two-thirds vote in the United States Senate before you can get it passed. So it seems to me that we have a better chance of being fair to America, and if it isn’t fair to America, it takes an extraordinary majority to get it through, and presumably if it’s not fair to America, it’s not going to get through the United States Senate.

What I’ve read about the economics of it, and studying particularly FAPRI – you know, University of Missouri and Iowa State and their economic studies – I have – and there’s other economists as well – say that there’s a little bit of benefit to trading, but it falls so much to timber that it seems to me that it’s not good – it’s not going to be beneficial to farming. And – and consequently, I have real doubts about it. I’m not going to reject everything Senator – or Secretary Vilsack says about it, but what I’ve studied, I have great deal of doubt about it being fair to American agriculture. Not – and the main reason for that is: Not giving us enough credit, going back 20 years, for what we have done already through minimum tillage, or no tillage, to cut down on energy use and putting CO2 into the air.

Well, I’d be foolish if I didn’t give – I’d be foolish if I didn’t give it some consideration because there’s a massive amount of scientists that feel that it does. But there’s also an increasing number of scientists that have doubt about it. And so, not being a scientist, I don’t know exactly where to say only those things that are really quantifiable, and temperature has risen. But the scientific aspect that I still reserving judgment on is the extent to which it’s manmade or natural. And it’s reasonable, considering that there’s at least a natural factor in it, because historically, and you can go to the core drillings in the glaciers to get proof of this, that we’ve had decades and decades, and maybe even centuries of periods of time when there’s been a tremendous rise in temperature, and then a tremendous fall in temperature. And all you’ve got to do is look at the little ice age of the mid-last millennia as an example. And so we’ve got to single out what’s natural and what’s manmade before you can make policy. Now, a lot of members of Congress and most environmentalists are – are absolutely convinced manmade is the – is the factor – chief factor here. But I – I want to, before I vote on it, be more conclusive in my judgment, and I haven’t reached that conclusion at this point. But it’s enough to know that I think that even if it is manmade entirely, and so there’s justification for the legislation, you still have to deal with the reality factors that domestically there’s a very unlevel playing field between California and New York that benefit financially from it, and the Midwest and the Southeast United States that’s going to be hurt; and then the unlevel playing field if you don’t include India and China, an unlevel playing field with the United States versus those countries. And so – so we don’t want to lose all of our manufacturing to China. We’ve already lost a lot. We – it’s better to have an international agreement and include China and India in it.

Mike Johanns (R-NE)

Houston Chronicle Market volatility and higher fuel and fertilizer prices may make cap-and-trade practices a hardship for farmers, said Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., and former U.S. secretary of agriculture. “There are more losers than winners with this in agriculture,” Johanns said.

Farm Policy “If you are in the dairy industry, which is absolutely going broke at the moment, if you’re in the pork industry — and one pork producer recently said to me, he said ‘I’m 30 days from being bankrupt’ — if you’re in the cattle industry that hasn’t made money for two years, this is pretty much a disaster for them, isn’t it?”

Omaha World-Herald Unfortunately, the costs of cap-and-trade are real, while so far the benefits for farmers and ranchers are theoretical. Nebraska producers are realists. And realists sift through rhetoric to focus on facts. I commend the secretary for acknowledging that energy costs would go up and rural America is more likely to feel the pinch. . . . There was no estimate of the impact of increased costs on livestock production. This industry represents 57 percent of ag income in Nebraska and more than 50 percent of ag sales nationwide — apparently hog, cattle and poultry are not “agriculture” by the administration’s definition. There was no state-by-state analysis of the impact of cost increases on agriculture production. Nebraska producers pay costs based on local prices, not national averages. And there was nothing regarding the fruit and vegetable industry, representing 15 percent of ag sales nationwide. So let’s add that up — the USDA’s analysis ignores roughly two-thirds of American agriculture. Yet it unequivocally states that cap-and-trade is good for American agriculture? Furthermore, the USDA has assumed that free allowances would be sufficient to keep fertilizer prices from rising but provides no explanation for how many allowances will be needed. . . . Lastly, the secretary fails to mention perhaps the most critical point: The bill would fail to achieve its purported environmental goal of stopping climate change because agriculture producers and manufacturing in China, India and Brazil would in no way be affected by the bill. Without them, the impact on temperature is negligible, a fact acknowledged by the Environmental Protection Agency. . . . So what are we left with? A bill that would place additional tax burdens on American businesses during a severe recession for no discernible environmental gain. A bill that would ask Nebraskans to trust the federal government to provide enough free allowances so the increased energy costs would not put them out of business. Like the secretary, I am supremely confident that American agriculture can adapt. But that’s no justification to support a bad bill. While Americans will face down any challenge facing them, their lawmakers should not be in the business of creating additional ones.

Farm Week Now After health care, Johanns sees climate debate as the next hot button for Congress this fall: “President Obama wants that, and I think it’s going to be one of the next issue queued up, But the feeling in farm country is quite different – he argues Nebraska farmers are “enormously skeptical, if not downright opposed” to proposed greenhouse emissions caps projected to impact future electrical, fuel, and input costs. “You’ll pay more for fertilizer and diesel fuel and electricity to run your irrigation pump,” Johanns warned during an RFD Radio/FarmWeek interview Monday. “On the other side, I think the benefits are very, very uncertain. I think this idea that farmers are going to make money by trading credits is very uncertain promise. “If I were a farmer out there, I’d want the certainty of what I’m doing now, and even at that, that can be very uncertain. Add cap-and-trade to it and what you add is higher input costs with no promise of what comes out on the other end.” In charting marketable ag carbon “offsets,” the House plan does not consider conservation tillage and other “past good practices” that can reduce or trap carbon emissions, and Johanns believes that likely will be “a point of contention” in the Senate. Given the “free” emissions allowances the House proposes to allocate to various sectors in exchange for their support of the plan, he questions how a demand-driven ag credit market could “get up-and-running.” At the same time, he noted “the rest of the world just isn’t where we’re at” in terms of proposed climate policy, and new regulations could put U.S. producers at a serious competitive disadvantage. Some lawmakers have supported an “off-ramp” provision (“It is gaining some ground), but he fears that if the Environmental Protection Agency or other bureaucratic interests were responsible for administering the provision, “we might never get on the off-ramp.”

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

E&E News “Without a doubt there are opportunities for us to be able to make recommendations in terms of where we hope that the climate change bill or cap-and-trade bill that EPW is working on is going to go,” Lincoln told reporters in a conference call yesterday.

Reuters “All I’m saying is I think it (passage of a climate bill) is a heavy lift for the Senate” in a session filled with major legislation, she said. Climate change legislation “presents some issues for the farm community,” said Lincoln.

Wonk Room “Making sure as we do move forward, that we don’t do so putting a disproportionate burden on our hardworking farm families and our agriculture communities across this country. They do a tremendous job providing food and fiber for the world. While it isn’t necessarily my preference to move on cap-and-trade legislation in the Senate this year, the Senate is going to move on climate change legislation in the future.”

Reuters “In this economy, it is important to take it one step at a time,” she said as she praised the pending energy bill.

Ben Nelson (D-NE)

Reuters “We have enough on our plate at the moment (with the fight over healthcare reform). It’s questionable to open another front.” Instead, Nelson said the energy bill could be passed as a stand-alone bill, calling it “far less controversial” and “necessary.”

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

E&E News Climate change is individuals,” Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) said yesterday. “It’s not so much committees and what your position is on committees.”

Senators Work to Strengthen American Clean Energy And Security Act

Posted by Wonk Room Tue, 25 Aug 2009 11:20:00 GMT

From the Wonk Room.

Kerry: Yes to Climate ActionEven as their colleagues place roadblocks on energy reform, several members of the U.S. Senate are attempting to strengthen the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the green economy legislation passed by the House of Representatives this June. As Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) take the lead to write the Senate draft, many of their fellow senators have proposed specific policy improvements:

  • EMISSIONS LIMITS: Sens. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) are calling for the legislation to strengthen its 2020 target for greenhouse pollution reductions to 20 percent below 2005 levels, instead of the current 17 percent target. “I like the House bill, don’t get me wrong,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). “But I think we can do better.” Lautenberg told reporters: “That’s the objective, as far as I’m concerned, because the glide path has to be established that enables us to get to 80 percent in 2050. You can’t get there unless you start aggressively pushing.”
  • GREEN TRANSPORTATION: Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) is working to strengthen the bill’s funding for green transportation, pushing language that would “devote a guaranteed share of revenues from carbon regulation to transit, bike paths, and other green modes of transport.” The Clean, Low-Emission, Affordable, New Transportation Efficiency Act (S. 575 / H.R. 1329) would auction ten percent of carbon market allowances for clean transit improvement. Senators Arlen Specter (D-PA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and Ben Cardin (D-MD) have co-sponsored the legislation.
  • COAL POLLUTION: Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE) is working with Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to add language to “regulate power plant emissions of mercury, nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide.”
  • CARBON MARKET REGULATION: Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) have introduced legislation to “prevent Enron-like fraud, manipulation and excessive speculation” in the carbon market that the ACES Act would establish. Boxer has told reporters she intends to include the Feinstein-Snowe language in her legislation.
  • RENEWABLE STANDARD: In February, Sens. Tom Udall (D-NM) and Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced legislation (S. 433) to set a federal standard of 25% renewable electricity by 2025, much stronger than the House bill. “The bill’s not perfect, but it is a beginning,” Mark Udall recently told reporters. “The Senate now has to work its bill, and there are a number of elements we could put in the Senate bill that would improve the House bill including passing a [stronger] renewable electricity standard for the nation.” Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have cosponsored the legislation.
  • GREEN MANUFACTURING JOBS: Sen. Sherrod Brown’s (D-OH) Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act creates a “$30 billion Manufacturing Revolving Loan Fund to help small and medium-sized manufacturers finance retooling, shift design, and improve energy efficiency.” The IMPACT Act has been added to the Senate legislation. Ten Democratic senators, led by Sens. Brown and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), have urged President Obama to ensure the legislation includes “strong provisions to ensure the strength and viability of domestic manufacturing,” including a “border adjustment mechanism” if “other major carbon emitting countries fail to commit to an international agreement requiring commensurate action on climate change.” Brown and Stabenow are supported by Sens. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Robert Casey (D-PA), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Robert Byrd (D-VW), and Al Franken (D-MN).

A number of senators have committed to passing strong climate and clean energy legislation, including Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who is “optimistic we can turn energy potential into reality and help create new job opportunities at home by producing more clean energy in the United States.” After telling a global warming skeptic that “climate change is very real,” Stabenow was eviscerated by the right wing. Both Brown and Specter have committed to voting against a Republican filibuster of climate legislation—a key move for President Obama’s progressive energy agenda.

After Boxer introduces her draft of the legislation in the beginning of September, the bill must pass out of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which has a strong Democratic majority with many liberal Democrats. “The move on the Senate floor will be rightward,” Sen. Whitehouse noted. “And therefore, we’ve got to do our job to keep as many possibilities open for the floor as possible.”

Other senators have committed to passing strong climate and clean energy legislation, including Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), who is “optimistic we can turn energy potential into reality and help create new job opportunities at home by producing more clean energy in the United States.” Both Brown and Specter have committed to voting against a Republican filibuster of climate legislation—a key move for President Obama’s progressive energy agenda.

After Boxer introduces her draft of the legislation in the beginning of September, the bill must pass out of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which has a strong Democratic majority with many liberal Democrats. “The move on the Senate floor will be rightward,” Sen. Whitehouse noted. “And therefore, we’ve got to do our job to keep as many possibilities open for the floor as possible.”

Senate Watch: Boxer, Hutchison, Inhofe, McCain, Stabenow, Udall

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 24 Aug 2009 17:50:00 GMT

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

Washington Post As we are moving to address some of our nation’s great challenges – revitalizing our economy, putting Americans back to work and passing health insurance reform – scientists are telling us we have a short window to take the steps that are needed to avoid the ravages of global warming. We must also act quickly to ensure America leads the world in clean energy technology. We need to confront all of these issues; we don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing. By creating powerful incentives for clean energy, the bill that Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and I will introduce in September will restore our economy and create jobs at home while reducing carbon pollution and making us less dependent on foreign oil. John Doerr – one of the nation’s leading venture capitalists, who helped launch Google and—has predicted that the investment capital that will flow into clean energy will dwarf the amount invested in high-tech and biotech combined. It will create millions of jobs in America – building wind turbines, installing solar panels on homes and producing a new fleet of electric and hybrid vehicles. We can successfully address all of these challenges. Our forebears have set the pace ever since our nation was founded. President Obama has reminded us that America built the transcontinental railroad and established the National Academy of Sciences in the midst of the Civil War. In the 1960s, we passed historic civil rights legislation even as we took on the challenge of going to the moon. At the end of the day, leaders have to lead when action is needed.

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX)

Washington Post Cap-and-trade legislation will fail under its own weight, just like health-care legislation. Each massive, misguided policy is being doggedly pushed by the Obama administration and the Democratic congressional leadership in a narrow, partisan fashion that will contribute to and ensure its failure. We could forecast the American outrage, based on past experience with these types of proposals, and if the Democrats succeed in forcing these bad policies on American families, they will be held accountable by the public. The administration’s health-reform proposal would nationalize and bureaucratize health care in America. Cap-and-trade, meanwhile, will kill 2 million American jobs; shrink the household incomes of average Americans by more than $1,000 annually; and penalize the industries that produce our nation’s energy – at a time when we are already concerned about the high costs of fuel and utilities. It will increase our dependence on foreign energy imports, which is already at an astounding 60 percent. We have seen such proposals before, and the good news is that they have failed miserably because Americans are well informed and understand how they could impact their lives.

James Inhofe (R-OK)

Washington Post As lawmakers return to Washington and assess the fiery backlash of constituent opposition to government-run health care, those mired in the thick of the climate change debate are wondering: What does it all mean for us? The warring factions over climate policy should step back and try to discern whether constituents are signaling a more basic distrust of new government schemes. Polling data from the past several months indicates that such public distrust is real, deep and widespread. This means the Democrats’ government-run, cap-and-trade scheme – in fact, an energy tax that extends into every corner of American life – now faces an even higher hurdle, including growing opposition from many Democrats in the Senate. Such distrust will only grow if Democrats insist, as they did in the House, on crafting climate legislation in their inner sanctums, with no time for serious public input and debate. And this is exactly the course being drawn in the Senate. Still, Washington’s appetite for spending, taxing and regulating – cap-and trade contains elements of each – is boundless. So, despite having public opinion on our side, those opposed to cap-and-trade are facing a monumental battle this fall in the Senate. There will be a mad race for 60 votes, and the outcome will reverberate beyond 2010.

John McCain (R-AZ)

9 News “I think the evidence is overwhelming that climate change is taking place, and it is damaging our national parks,” said Sen. John McCain. . . Senator McCain said he would have a difficult time supporting the bill if it doesn’t increase the nation’s use of nuclear energy. “Nuclear power has to be a part of any real way of reducing our dependence on fossil fuels,” said McCain.

The Coloradoan “All you have to do is look around and see the trees dying because of the pine beetle,” said McCain,R-Ariz.

This Week MCCAIN: I think the threat is serious here. We’ve seen increased temperatures, which has had impact on the wildlife, on the flora and fauna, on the Colorado River itself, which we are seeing less and less of. We are in serious drought conditions. Our parks have very fragile ecology here. And, frankly, when you’re in this driest area anyway, then they’re even more fragile. So I think that part of the impact of climate change on our national parks is—well, you know, they’re going to have to change the name of Glacier National Park because the glaciers are going away.

STEPHANOPOULOS: In the past, you’ve been supportive of legislation to deal with greenhouse gas emissions, with cap-and-trade. What about the current legislation that’s coming out of the House now, moving to the Senate? They’ve met a lot of your objections about not giving away the allowances. Is this something that you can support?

MCCAIN: Well, to support a 1,400-page piece of legislation to start with is always difficult for me, but I believe that the only way we’re going to truly reduce greenhouse gas emissions effectively is the nuclear power. We have got to build 100 nuclear power plants in the next 20 years. We can do that. Right now, the administration’s position is against storage and they’re against recycling of spent nuclear fuel. I can’t support a genuine reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, unless nuclear power is a key part of it.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’ve been for it in past.

MCCAIN: I’ve been for – and nuclear power – assuming that nuclear power would be a key part of it. I mean, you can’t get there from here. The only country that’s really making its Kyoto goals is France, where 80 percent of their electricity is generated by nuclear power.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But you’d be willing to go along with cap-and- trade, if it were part of a comprehensive deal that included more…

MCCAIN: Well, that would have to be part of it. And second of all, in any 1,400-page piece of legislation, you put in a lot of special deals for a lot of special interests. We know what happened there. The bazaar was open in the House of Representatives, so obviously, I would have to want to do away with a whole lot of that. But I think climate change is real, and I would be glad to sit down and try to work, as I have in the past, across the aisle on this issue.

Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

Detroit News “Climate change, I believe, is very real. The overwhelming evidence is it doesn’t show up always. We are seeing temperatures go up, we’re seeing the ice caps melting. But it creates volatility. You can see it in the storms that we have. I feel it in flying. I fly twice a week. And over the years, the storms are more volatile. So it’s not just about, ‘It’s getting hotter.’ In some places it’s hotter, in some places it’s colder, some places – The volatility that comes with the change in temperatures . . . We are paying the price in more hurricanes and tornadoes.”

Mark Udall (D-CO)

9 News “We ought to find ways to harness the sun and the wind, create new kinds of biofuels and upgrade our nuclear power capabilities,” said Sen. Udall. . . . “The bill’s not perfect, but it is a beginning,” said Udall. “The Senate now has to work its bill, and there are a number of elements we could put in the Senate bill that would improve the House bill including passing a renewable electricity standard for the nation.”

Denver Post “I agree with Sen. McCain that nuclear power has to part of the mix,” Udall said. “It’s clear that if we want to respond to climate change, nuclear energy has to be part of the solution.”

Senate Watch: Bennet, Bingaman, Bond, Boxer, Brown, Cantwell, Carper, Grassley, Inhofe, Kerry, Shelby, Stabenow, Voinovich, Whitehouse, Wyden

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 07 Aug 2009 15:16:00 GMT

Michael Bennet (D-CO)

E&E News “I’d like to hear what they have to say about it before I shoot my mouth off,” Bennet’s signed on as co-sponsor to a bill from Sen. Tom Udall, (D-N.M.) and Udall of Colorado that would enact a 25-percent-by-2025 renewable electricity standard. “It’s been an enormous positive for Colorado,” Bennet said. “The market adapted. Our evidence is that it works.” When it comes to Colorado’s fossil fuels, Bennet for now is stepping behind natural gas, calling for it to have a bigger role in the Senate bill. “It was essentially absent from the House bill,” Bennet said. “I’d like to know why that is.” Bennet said he also sees “opportunities to tie together natural gas with intermittent power sources like sun and wind.” “I don’t have any specifics today,” Bennet said about what he wants to see. “I’m talking with people in the environmental community and natural gas people and hearing what their ideas are.” “In Colorado now we’re confronting these issues because of the water shortages that we have,” Bennet said. “If we are going to be able to assure that another generation of Coloradans are able to farm, or one after that, we need some answers to these questions how do we preserve our water resources.”

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

E&E News Senate Energy and Natural Resources Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) has long advocated price controls as part of a cap-and-trade bill, including a “safety valve” in previous versions of his own. “I think it’s something that makes a lot of sense to look at,” Bingaman said. “These cap-and-trade bills have so many pieces,” Bingaman said. “I don’t know that you can point to one thing and say, ‘Stick that in and everyone jumps on board.’ I think it’s much more complicated than that.”

Kit Bond (R-MO)

E&E News Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) complained during an EPW Committee hearing yesterday about comments from Boxer and Kerry that they may not even be putting out allocation language with their draft bill in early September. “That troubles me a great deal,” Bond said. “We can’t leave these allocations blank, placeholders, if we’re going to give Americans a fair, open and transparent view of the legislation.”

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

E&E News Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is considering a “price collar” for her global warming bill that could help to curb the economic costs from a cap-and-trade program. “I don’t know why we can’t consider this as one more way to give more certainty,” Boxer said during a hearing today. “I’m looking at it, is what I’m saying.”

Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)

E&E News Among other things, the senators said they would seek a “border adjustment mechanism” that could slap trade sanctions on carbon-intensive goods from developing countries that do not have strong enough climate policies. “In the absence of an adequate international agreement, a border measure could help to prevent countries from responding to climate change less rigorously than the United States and undercutting the effectiveness of our climate policy by shifting, rather than reducing, greenhouse gas emissions,” the senators wrote. Other Senators that signed on: Russ Feingold (D-WI), Carl Levin (D-MI), Evan Bayh (D-IN), Robert Casey (D-PA), Arlen Specter (D-PA), Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Al Franken (D-MN)

New York Times As Congress considers energy and climate legislation,” the senators wrote, “it is important that such a bill include provisions to maintain a level playing field for American manufacturing.” “It is essential that any clean energy legislation not only address the crisis of climate change, but include strong provisions to ensure the strength and viability of domestic manufacturing,” the letter said.

Maria Cantwell (D-WA)

E&E News “For economic reasons, national security reasons and environmental reasons, we cannot allow ourselves to remain dependent on foreign oil,” Cantwell said in a statement. “Biodiesel is an extremely efficient fuel that helps reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil and can play a constructive role in addressing the issue of climate change. In order to provide this important industry with certainty and predictability, Congress must act quickly to extend and reform this valuable tax credit.”

Press release “Last year, we all saw the devastating effects that $140 per barrel oil had on our economy and American families,” said Cantwell.

Tom Carper (D-DE)

E&E News “Among my top priorities was to be sure that we not only address challenges that carbon dioxide poses to our planet, but sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide and mercury, “I want to be practical,” Carper said. “In the end, I’m interested in outcome, in results. We have too many people whose health is damaged by these emissions, young and old, and whose lives are really threatened.”

Charles Grassley (R-IA)

E&E News Finance Committee ranking member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) on Tuesday reminded senators that the Obama administration pressed hard at the start of the year for a 100 percent auction of the emission credits—only to back down as the House tackled the issue in the spring. “The administration clearly has strong feelings on the topic, and this committee will soon have to draw its own conclusions on the same topic,” he said.

Press release America is trying to kick its addiction to foreign oil, and biodiesel is part of the cure,” Grassley said. “The more we can encourage domestic production and meet demand, the better off we’ll be economically, environmentally, and geopolitically. This legislation simplifies the tax credit for producers. It also gives investors predictability so they’ll be more likely to put their money into biodiesel production.”

James Inhofe (R-OK)

E&E News “In effect, EPA has refused to provide members of Congress, as they prepare for meetings and events with their constituents over the August recess, with critical information on the Waxman-Markey energy tax and how it will affect jobs in the Midwest, South, and Great Plains, as well as food, gasoline, and electricity prices for all American consumers,” Inhofe said in a statement. Inhofe added that additional analysis of the House bill was needed despite EPA’s plans to analyze future legislation. “We asked for an analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill, which would be the House position in a potential conference committee,” Inhofe said. “Thus the economic consequences of the bill are critical for senators to understand.”

John Kerry (D-MA)

E&E News So what if the two committees do produce separate climate bills? Kerry said it would not be a problem, citing the different Senate health care bills that are emerging from the Finance and Health committees. “You work to put them together,” he said. “That’s the nature of legislating. it’s not unusual around here.”

Richard Shelby (R-AL)

E&E News “The cash-for-clunkers program is simply another bailout to prop up a struggling industry wrapped in the political guise of an environmentally friendly program.”

George Voinovich (R-OH)

E&E News Voinovich said yesterday that he will not release a procedural “hold” on the EPA deputy administrator nominee until EPA completes a new analysis of the House bill. Voinovich has been blocking Robert Perciasepe’s confirmation since last month over concerns about EPA’s analysis. “My attitude is that I want them to do another evaluation, because the real issue here is what’s the economic impact that all of this is going to have and the potential because it’s going to really color the judgment of people on whether they can support the bill,” he said.

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

E&E News “I wouldn’t go so far as to characterize it as a problem,” Whitehouse said. “I’d characterize it more as a process than a problem.” Yet Whitehouse also declined to say which panel he would prefer to see with the leading voice on allocations. “As long as this committee has a significant role, that’s all at present I see as fair to ask for,” he said. “I’m not disputing that the Finance Committee has a role. Working side by side, I think we can work our way though the uncertainties of not being on territory with established boundary lines.”

Rob Wyden (D-OR)

E&E News “The tax code has fueled an explosion of speculators who are distorting oil and gas markets and driving up prices for everybody,” Wyden said in a statement. “If speculators are truly in the markets and are wrecking havoc with oil and gas prices, this bill will do away with their tax subsidies and cause many to leave,” Wyden said in a floor speech. “It deflates the speculative balloon of artificially inflated profits that has made this investment arena so attractive. If speculators are not a problem, then this bill will help prove the theory that the wild swings in oil prices of the past year truly can be blamed on supply and demand.” Wyden said his bill offers a “bottom line up” approach to tackling price volatility and excessive speculation in the energy markets that some blame for crude oil reaching nearly $150 a barrel last summer.

Senate Watch: Bond, Baucus, Carper, Grassley, Lincoln, Rockefeller, Udall

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 05 Aug 2009 22:37:00 GMT

Kit Bond (R-MO)

“E&E News’: Sen. Kit Bond (R-Mo.) criticized the power companies for even trying to negotiate with congressional Democrats. Either way, he said, the electric utilities lose. “That’s bargaining with somebody on how they’re going to hang you,” Bond said. “They’ll hang you with minimal pain, or they’ll torture you to death.”

Max Baucus (D-MT)

E&E News “So let us see if we can figure out how to distribute emission allowances in a way that one might call just,” Baucus said at a hearing on allocations today. “Let us see if we can figure out how to give all Americans what they deserve.” “The House bill provided solid relief to low-income Americans through these means,” he said. “The Senate should match it, or build on it.” “I don’t want to prejudge at this point,” he said. “I just want to take a good, strong, hard, fresh look at allowances to see what makes sense. Everything can be improved upon.”

CQ “I doubt it’ll be major. There’ll be some,” Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus , D-Mont., said Tuesday, when asked about changes to the allocation formula.

WV Metro News “There are a number of ways to use allowance revenues to mitigate the cost of climate legislation on consumers and businesses,” Senator Baucus said.  “For example, Congress could use the money from auctioning allowances to cut taxes by cutting marginal rates, by cutting capital gains rates, by cutting payroll taxes or by doing all of the above.”

ENews USA He said, “Economists expect that these allowances will have a value, like cash. Thus, many argue that the government should not just give these allowances away. Many argue that the government should auction them, and return the proceeds to consumers. Others argue that the government should allocate a portion of the allowances to regulated companies. Doing so would soften the effects of putting a price on carbon.” . . . “Allowances will have significant value. In 2012, the first year of the program in the House‐passed bill, the Congressional Budget Office [CBO] puts their value at about $60 billion. For the period of 2010 to 2019, they amount to more than $870 billion.” Baucus cites the CBO which says, “[T]he creation of allowances by the government should be recorded as revenues. That logic does not hinge on whether the government sells or, instead, gives away the allowances. Allowances would have significant value even if given away because the recipients could sell them or, in the case of a covered entity, use them to avoid incurring the cost of compliance.”

Tom Carper (D-DE)

E&E News “I thought the utility industry did a great service by coming up with a compromise that all of them could live with,” he said. “Most legislators are lay people. We can’t be experts. We need for the industry to come up to us and say we think this is a fair compromise. They’ve done that. I think we should embrace it.”

Charles Grassley (R-IA)

E&E News “It is not free money,” Grassley said. “It’s a national energy tax on all Americans.”

ENews USA Ranking Member Grassley said, “The President supports 100 percent auction of allowances.”

Washington Post Even a hint of opposition to the tariff was intolerable to Mr. Grassley, so he threatened to block the Shannon nomination unless the Obama administration “clarified” its stand. No doubt mindful of Mr. Grassley’s leverage over the Senate Finance Committee’s health-care reform effort, the White House gave him what he wanted: a letter last week from Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk promising “no plans” to change the tariff. Mr. Shannon’s confirmation is back on track.

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

E&E News “Waxman-Markey picks winners and losers,” Lincoln said. “I think it’s a deeply flawed bill. I hope we’ll work hard on something that makes better sense.” “We’re hoping we’re going to be doing health care in September,” she said. “I don’t think we can do both of them.”

John Rockefeller (D-WV)

Politico “Everything is hard, everything is slow,” said West Virginia Democratic Sen. John Rockefeller, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee. “My answer to that is let’s do what we always did with [former Senate Majority Leader] George Mitchell and stay until Dec. 22. We did that every year he was majority leader.”

Tom Udall (D-NM)

KRWG “A question was asked by Senator Bingaman at the luncheon at the White House with President Obama, and he said “are we going to make a commitment to replenish the funds, because those are important, you know, and several New Mexico businesses have an opportunity to get some of those funds, for example, a solar project down in Dona Ana County.” And the president said he was putting his chief of staff on it right away, and he expected that to be done. So I feel much more comfortable about where the funding’s coming from. I’m going to be following up with the White House and working with Senator Bingaman on that.”

Senate Watch: Alexander, Dorgan, Harkin, Johanns

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 04 Aug 2009 20:50:00 GMT

Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Washington Post “We want an America in which we create hundreds of thousands of ‘green jobs,’ but not at the expense of destroying tens of millions of red, white and blue jobs.”

Byron Dorgan (D-ND)

Washington Post “It’s very hard for Congress to do one big thing, much less do a couple of really big issues at the same time,” said Sen. Byron L. Dorgan (D-N.D.), whose state produces coal as well as wind power. Dorgan, who could be a swing vote on a climate bill, said he believes in capping carbon emissions, but not this way. He fears that cap-and-trade will create a market open to manipulation, like existing securities markets. He remains noncommittal about his ultimate vote. “We have a whole mountain range to climb before we get there,” he said.

Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Washington Post “What they did, we’ll keep,” said  Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee. “We’re going to maybe do some other things that would maybe embellish what they did in the House.” He wants to be more generous with “carbon offset” programs that allow farmers to be paid for no-till agriculture that keeps carbon in the soil.

Mike Johanns (R-NE)

Delta Farm Press “If the United States passes this bill (without China and India), we’re not going to impact temperatures to any significant degree. Isn’t that correct?” “‘Because overall land area and crops decline due to aforestation, the modeling indicates a net decrease in total agricultural soil carbon storage as carbon is transferred from agricultural soils to the aforestation pool.’ “The whole purpose of this hearing is just to be honest with people. So, what’s going out of production? The important thing about that is it affects the pork producer, the cattle guy — it beats the living daylights out of them. Why? Because prices will go up. They’re out there saying, ‘Look, my input costs are going to go up with electricity, natural gas, fertilizer.’ “Just tell them: how many acres are going out of production?” “Many of the offsets (Vilsack) speaks about wouldn’t go to the row crop person to offset his higher energy, fertilizer and other costs,” Johanns continued. “It would go to the person who is planting the forestland. “But, again, unless you can quantify this, you can’t sell this plan. It becomes the ‘hope and a prayer’ plan for agriculture because you can’t tell farmers and ranchers what they’ll be exposed to in terms of input costs. That’s a huge issue.” It’s no consolation “to stand with one foot in the campfire and one in the ice bucket and say, ‘on average, I’m in good shape,’” said Johanns. “It’s no consolation to tell farmers and ranchers, ‘you’re going to be in good shape, on average,’ if you don’t know the regional differences, the crop differences, if you can’t tell them how much land will go out of production. “And yet we have a House bill (Waxman/Markey) that passed. I find that shocking. I find it amazingly shocking that could happen without the aforementioned information being available.

Senate Watch: Barrasso, Baucus, Bond, Cardin, Corker, Johanns, Landrieu, Lautenberg, McCain

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 03 Aug 2009 15:00:00 GMT

John Barrasso (R-WY)

Billings Gazette Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., calls it a ‘job-killer’ that would result in “stripping red, white and blue jobs, and then subsidizing a few green jobs in their place.”

Max Baucus (D-MT)

E&E News “We’re going to, in the Finance Committee, have hearings on and fully intend to mark up allowances, which allowances are free allowances, as well as what allowances are auctioned.” “On allocations, the last time, in the Clean Air Act, that was a much smaller deal,” Baucus said. “This is much more important. And also, it is a tax measure. It’s a tax bill. And if the House bill were referred to a committee, it’d be automatically referred to the Finance Committee because of revenue.”

Kit Bond (R-MO)

Springfield News-Leader Blunt appeared at Saturday’s meeting with Sen. Kit Bond, who vowed to raise a lot of questions when the bill gets to the Senate. He said most sources are telling him it would make energy bills double. “That’s just a guess,” said Bond. “It may only go up 50 percent, it may go up 200 percent rather than 100 percent. Nobody really knows how much it will cost other than it will cost.” . . . Bond said that with China and India refusing to adopt cap-and-trade provisions, getting the United States to abide by them won’t make a huge impact on climate change.

Ben Cardin (D-MD)

E&E News “I like the House bill, don’t get me wrong,” said Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.). “But I think we can do better.”

Bob Corker (R-TN)

Grist “I didn’t think it was possible, but the Waxman-Markey climate bill appears to be even more problematic than the climate bill that tanked in the Senate last spring,” he said, referring to the Lieberman-Warner bill that he voted against in 2008.  “I don’t know of many special interests that don’t receive a pay-off in this [Waxman-Markey] legislation, and if it comes to the Senate floor in this form, I’ll vote against it.” “I want to tell you that I wish we would just talk about a carbon tax, 100 percent of which would be returned to the American people. So there’s no net dollars that would come out of the American people’s pockets.”

Mike Johanns (R-NE)

Des Moines Register But without more economic analysis, Vilsack is trying to sell the climate bill on a “hope and a prayer,” says Mike Johnanns.

Johanns “Cap-and-trade threatens to change the landscape of American agriculture, and we need to get a better understanding of just how deep the impact will be,” Johanns said. “It is necessary for the Senate as well as farmers and ranchers across the country to know the facts about how cap-and-trade will affect agriculture. I am pleased Chairman Harkin has agreed to hold more hearings, and I hope they, along with a committee mark-up, are scheduled soon so we can give this critical issue a more in-depth look.”

Mary Landrieu (D-LA)

E&E News “I’m using this time to try respectfully to educate members of my caucus, and maybe some Republicans, about the importance of natural gas, the importance of domestic energy security, so we don’t lose that in this debate.” Landrieu said. “It’s not just about cleaning up the environment. It’s about securing America’s economic future. And both are important.”

Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

E&E News “That’s the objective, as far as I’m concerned,” added Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). “Because the glide path has to be established that enables us to get to 80 percent in 2050. You can’t get there unless you start aggressively pushing.”

John McCain (R-AZ)

Wall Street Journal “I believe climate change is real . . . but this 1,400-page bill is a farce. They bought every industry off—steel mills, agriculture, utilities,” he says. So you wouldn’t vote for the House bill? “I would not only not vote for it,” he laughs, “I am opposed to it entirely, because it does damage to those of us who believe that we need to act in a rational fashion about climate change.”

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