Monday, October 26, 2009

Revised Senate Climate Bill Released Today - Plus the EPA Analysis

Today the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) released a “chairman’s mark” of the climate bill she co-authored with fellow Senator John Kerry (D-MA). This revised version includes "new provisions for allocating emission allowances, providing consumer rebates, promoting the use renewable energy and fuels, addressing the use of clean-coal technologies, and encouraging certain forestry and agriculture practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions."

In addition to the revised bill, Boxer also released an EPA analysis that shows "the Senate plan would cost no more than the House-passed cap-and-trade proposal."

Three days of legislative hearings by Boxer’s committee begin Tuesday, October 27th, which she hopes will lead to a markup of the bill in November.

As has become the norm, Republicans have threatened that they will try to block committee action on the bill based on their claims that there has not been enough time to sufficiently review the new 923-page legislative package. This is disingenuous. The draft bill has been avaiable for quite some time and this version just provides some additional information. Furthermore, this is the beginning of the process, with hearings scheduled and plenty of time for Republicans to have their staffs read the bill and provide them with analyses. There is also plenty of time for Republicans, and other Democrats, to provide their input and amendments to the bill before the final markup in November.

It's time for both parties to legislate. That means actively contributing to the development of legislation rather than staking out a politically-motivated position without making any attempt to resolve issues.

Links to the revised bill, the EPA analysis, and the House bill, along with additional analysis can be found in an article printed in the New York Times today. Other climate change related posts on this blog can be found here.