The Dernogalizer

June 12, 2009

Here comes the Senate

There’s been plenty of commotion surrounding the Waxman-Markey climate bill as it moves through the House in Congress.  One major concern has been when the Senate is going to take up the issue of climate change legislation.  The picture has become a little clearer now, thanks to an article in Politico about the emerging timeline for their energy/climate bill, which Barbara Boxer has said she intends to have her committee mark-up before the August recess.  This is good to hear!  It increases the odds that this bill can be on the desk by Copenhagen if it’s pushed fast enough.  Boxer has also voiced that she thinks that her committee will produce a stronger bill, at least until it hits the floor where lord knows what will happen.  It also means that environmental groups need be ready to quickly divert their pressure to the Senate as soon as Waxman-Markey makes it out of the House.  If the difficulty of passing the stimulus bill is any indication, it will take quite a lift in the Senate to get the bill passed.  Notable excerpts from the article below.

“Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) said Thursday that she expects to mark up climate and energy legislation before the August recess, with hopes of a bill reaching the full Senate in the fall”

“You might see a little bit of a stronger bill come out of our committee,” said Boxer, who noted that her bill is based on the House cap-and-trade proposal. “You’ll see some refinements and changes and tweaks.”

“The Senate is taking a more collective approach to climate legislation. A core group of committee heads — Boxer, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) — meet regularly with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to discuss the issue.”

“Boxer and Kerry say they hope to pass legislation by December, when international climate talks will take place in Copenhagen. Congressional action, says Kerry, is critical to convincing China and other key countries that the U.S. is serious about cutting greenhouse gas emissions.”

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