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Cap-and-Trade Will Be Part of Senate Climate Change Bill

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed Tuesday that the Senate will soon debate a bill to reduce pollution and that the legislation will include a scaled back version House-passed language to reduce carbon output by charging some polluters for emissions above a certain threshold.

Reid said that the bill is still in "rough draft form," but he gave an outline of what he plans to introduce in the Senate two weeks from now.

Specifically, he said the bill will address four issues key to reforming the energy sector in the United States: responding to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico; promoting clean energy and job creation; limiting consumer prices for energy; and reducing energy consumption.

Reid said the bill will only aim to cut pollution from energy utilities and power plants, and not from transportation, agriculture or other pollution-emitting sectors of the American economy. Although the House has passed a bill to cap carbon emissions across the entire American economy, Senate Democrats agree that such an aggressive approach would be difficult to pass.

For the past several weeks, the majority leader has been working to combine the elements of three different Democratic approaches for energy reform and climate change legislation, including a bill from Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman that would cap carbon emissions in the utility sector.

In addition to looking for a compromise that all Democrats can support, Reid will need the backing of the Obama administration and at least some Senate Republicans.

Although Democrats point most frequently to Maine's Sen. Olympia Snowe as a possible Republican ally on the issue, Snowe she said Tuesday that she's not interested in the job of winning over other GOP senators.

"I'm not sure I'm the gateway to anything," she said, adding that she's open -- but not committed to -- supporting a utility-only carbon cap.

"I think there is a possibility of an energy bill with efficiency and conservation and renewables, and perhaps from there you could reach a point of addressing utilities-only," she said. "Even then, I'm not so sure given the skepticism that's been expressed by so many about pricing carbon...First and foremost, you don't want to pose a greater cost on consumers in any way."

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19 Comments

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firstad

Let's propose building an Atomic Energy plant on the former World Trade Center in the middle of Manhatten. It's close to the water for cooling, and would supply thousands of jobs to New Yorkers. Many here feel it is the way to go. Any Nymby's...or is this just TOO close to home. Okay, how about six of them in New Jersey? Any Nymby's? Okay...how about coal based plants in New Jersey, Long Island New York, Milford Connecticut, Richmond and Petersburg Virginia, and both the Carolina's? Lots of coal in West Virginia to supply them.

July 15 2010 at 6:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
skep41

That Harry Reid is certainly a genius! A bill that will penalize excessive use of electricity is exactly what Las Vegas needs to improve its failing economy. Turning out the lights on the Strip because the ocean levels might rise a hundred years from now is just good politics in a state like Nevada where Reid is already much beloved. Of course there will still be enough electricity available to broadcast attack ads pointing out what a nut Sharron Angle is. Its wonderful that these Planet-friendly new taxes will arrive just at the right time to stifle any remaining Earth-Destroying economic activity.

July 14 2010 at 2:31 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
Michael

Anthropogenic Global Climate Change is a politically-charged theory pushed more by faith in scientists than by actually verifiable science.
Skyrocketing energy costs and political profiteering are incontestable facts of "Cap and Trade".
Think it over, and you be the judge.

July 13 2010 at 8:05 PM Report abuse +18 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Michael's comment
mcgowann

I hope people are starting to see that Cap & Trade is nothing more than creating a market to auction off our atmosphere to the highest bidder. If you think Wallstreet is corrupt, imagine how corrupt this will be with something as intangible as air. In 20 to 30 years, people are going to look back at this Cap & Trade idea and wonder how stupid we were to even consider it. As we reduce our use of fossil fuels, from which the federal government get trillions in taxes, fees, royalties, lease rentals, etc... they want Cap & Trade to fill in that money gap. The cost will destroy us.

July 13 2010 at 11:21 PM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
Big Daddy

Wrong, the science is strong and verifiable. This happens to be my air also and I don't want some money grubbing corporation puking in it, how much money do you think the coal industry is pouring into this lobbying effort? Political profiteering! How about over 2000 wells already drilled in the gulf and temporarily capped till the price goes up. BP was in the process of putting a temporary cap on this well when the accident occured,according to the AP. With the amount of oil coming out of this well I don't think they can claim it wouldn't be economicly feasable. How about Wall street banks with assets over 2 trillion betting on derivatives like oil and gas commodities? With that kind of money you can control the market. Don't you ever wonder why gas is going up when there is a world glut of oil and Saudia Arabia is 5 million barrels a day below capacity because they can't get rid of it. think it over,and you be the judge

July 13 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
joe

I complained to the building materials store because of the price jump in plywood and the store rep said the rise in the price of fuel was in large part responsible for the increase in price. Imagine how much fuel will increase if this bill passes. The dirty secret is that the more prices rise the more taxes the government collects on sales. When fuel rises prices for goods rise and taxes rise. Good for the govenment but what about the poor people that cannot afford higher prices. I assume the next step by the Democrats will be to issue coupons to the entitlement class to assure they will continue to vote Democrat. And what will that cost the rest of us?

July 13 2010 at 7:20 PM Report abuse +20 rate up rate down Reply
robtmoen

From my vantage point, there is little support for cap-and-trade. Daily I read editorials, comments and letters-to-the-editor from all over the United States. When the House passed the cap-and-trade bill it was maybe 2-to-1 against cap-and-trade; opinion now is off the charts against it.

Frankly, I don't see Americans supporting cap-and-trade or any CO2 regulation until we have our own 'Climate Truth Commission.' ...and no longer rely upon the climate opinions of the United Nations. The UN is a biased political organization whose climate forecasts haven't proven prescient. The United States needs our own objective, transparent 'climate truth commission' to think-through global warming.

-- Robert Moen, www.energyplanUSA

July 13 2010 at 6:53 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to robtmoen's comment
firstad

robtmoen - lets say we get your Climate Truth Commission and we load it up with scientists, economists, EPA experts, all American citizens. No foreigners, and none are allowed any political affiliation for any reason. Each state nominates one member. If they verify the findings of the UN, and recommend across the board cuts in American Industry, power generation, and automobile exhaust that take us back to 2002 standards in California...would you support and work for that standard? You would be the most hated man in America. What political party would make this happen?

July 15 2010 at 7:12 PM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
Hoser

Hope they add mercury emissions as well. Can't eat any fish from streams, rivers and lakes in the entire northeast due to mercury contamination from midwest belchers. Need to end upgrades of coal plants with antiquated equipment unless it includes upgrades and additions of pollution control, or lowering the stacks so residents closer by can enjoy the smoke stack effluent better

July 13 2010 at 6:52 PM Report abuse -17 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Hoser's comment
mcgowann

That wouldn't be a problem if we had replaced all these coal burning electric plants with nuclear plants. But, the tree huggers stopped us from doing that. France has them and hasn't had a problem. We've had nuclear powered Naval vessels sinc the 1950s with no problems. No ash pits. No carbon. But too many saying, "Not in my back yard!" Now they're complaining because they don't want acres and acres Solar Panel Farms and Windmill Farms which don't produce even a tiny percentage as much electricity per acre as nuclear power would. I wish that they would put all the wasted political energy on expanding nuclear energy instead of buying and selling CO2.

July 13 2010 at 11:32 PM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
rualibfool

Gasoline , all your energy bills , all consumer goods as well as food will all rise drastically in price , and this bill will costs us millions of more unemployed. This administration seems bound and determined to just pass one bad bill after another , with each being worst than the last. Vote out all Progressives.

July 13 2010 at 6:47 PM Report abuse +22 rate up rate down Reply
joe

Well it's part of the reason for the lack of response to the oil spill cleanup too.

July 13 2010 at 6:42 PM Report abuse +19 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to joe's comment
mcgowann

joe, I live in Florida and we agree with you. They're willing to sacrifice the fish, birds, dolphins, turtles, beaches, marine related jobs, tourism, our economy, etc... to push Cap & Trade by demonizing oil. We also wonder if part of it is that most people living on the Gulf Coast (North Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Lousiana and Texas) are republicans. I can guarantee that we won't be voting democrat after this.

July 13 2010 at 11:38 PM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
beckjr2000

Don't let this monster out of it's box! Passing this bill will destroy the economy for many years to come. It will drive up the cost of electricity anywhere from 5 to 7 times it's current rate. Gasoline will go through the roof! Despite what the President and Democrats say Hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost. "Green Energy" is a pipe dream! If it were economically feasible to use solar and wind we would already have it without the Government putting billions and billions into it. This is nothing more than another transfer of wealth from the people to politicians and the companies they represent! Support solar and free up drilling through out America!

July 13 2010 at 5:48 PM Report abuse +23 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to beckjr2000's comment
Michael

Eric:
Obama's recess appointment to head health care is an avid supporter of rationing and "redistribution" of wealth and health care, presumably at the whim of the politicians in charge. Is this the path to paradise in your mind?

July 13 2010 at 8:09 PM Report abuse +13 rate up rate down Reply

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