Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mid-week excitement: Senators Lieberman, Warner to work together on climate initiative

A couple of quick mid-week items: This afternoon, Senators Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and John Warner (R-VA) announced their intention to work together to craft climate legislation. See their press release below.

This could be a real breakthrough. Both are members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, but Warner hasn’t backed specific global warming legislation before. He could provide the crucial margin for moving legislation forward. In their release, they note they hope to structure an economy-wide bill. Stay tuned.

The Senate committee plans a hearing tomorrow.

Across the Capitol, we are expecting some possible fireworks this afternoon as the House Energy and Commerce Committee tries to craft energy legislation.

In one filed amendment, Rep. Gene Green (D-TX) would seek to delay any EPA standards on global warming pollution. Our latest understanding is that Green may not offer the amendment, or may withdraw it. It would throw a curveball into EPA plans set in motion by the Supreme Court decision on global warming.

In another amendment, Reps. John Shadegg (R-AZ) and Charles Melancon (D-LA) seek to require that EPA make an official notice and permit public comment before permitting new renewable fuels or renewable fuel additives into the marketplace. This idea makes a lot of sense and has been put forward because of concerns that the EPA will roll over and permit higher-level ethanol blends (15-20%) into commerce without fully evaluating the consequences.

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From: Masonhall, Erika (Lieberman)
Sent: Wednesday, June 27, 2007 12:24 PM
Subject: SENATORS WARNER, LIEBERMAN DRAFTING NEW, BIPARTISAN BILL ON CLIMATE CHANGE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 27, 2007
Contact: Erika Masonhall (Lieberman), 202-224-4041 John Ullyot (Warner), 202-224-2023

SENATORS LIEBERMAN, WARNER DRAFTING NEW, BIPARTISAN BILL ON CLIMATE CHANGE Senior Senate Environment Committee Members Seek to Reach Agreement on Comprehensive Legislation

WASHINGTON - Senators Joe Lieberman, I-D, Conn., and John Warner, R-Va., the Chairman and Ranking Member of a key subcommittee on the Committee on Environment and Public Works, today announced that they have begun drawing upon existing proposals and new ideas, including those from the private sector, to draft a comprehensive bill to address global climate change.

The new bill will aim to structure an economy-wide cap and trade program that provides maximum flexibility to the marketplace to meet a level of attainable emission reductions that are environmentally credible. It will provide federal investment in new technologies, include cost-containment provisions, and ensure international participation by developing nations.

The two senior members of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, who are the chair and ranking member of the Subcommittee on Private Sector and Consumer Solutions to Global Warming and Wildlife Protection, are working to bring a bipartisan accord to their subcommittee in the near future.

"Senator Warner and I are now in the process of agreeing on the broad goals and basic structure of a climate bill," Senator Lieberman said.
"We will spend the next several weeks filling in the essential details.
We will draw upon existing bills, involve colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and listen carefully to important private-sector stakeholders. I am confident Senator Warner and I can bring a strong bill before our subcommittee before the August recess."

Senator Warner said, "In my 28 years in the Senate, I have focused above all on issues of national security, and I see the problem of climate change as fitting within that focus. It is the responsibility of the Executive and Legislative Branches to join in taking a leadership role to address this national and international problem. This duty was made clear by the Supreme Court's ruling earlier this year that confirmed the federal government's obligation under the law to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. I look forward to working with Senator Lieberman and my Senate colleagues to craft a comprehensive climate bill."

In February and May of this year, Senators Lieberman and Warner held two climate policy hearings in the subcommittee that they lead within the Senate Environment Committee. In April, Warner announced his support for a mandatory, economy-wide, market-based approach to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

Lieberman is the author, along with Senator John McCain (R-AZ), of the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act, of which Senators Tom Carper (D-DE), Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Norm Coleman (R-MN), Susan Collins (R-ME), Richard Durbin (D-IL), Blanche Lincoln (D-AR), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Barack Obama (D-IL), and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) are co-sponsors

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