Senate Considers Climate Change Legislation
Yesterday the Senate began three days of hearings on climate change legislation, starting from a 923-page measure drafted by Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA).
Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar were among those who testified yesterday. Chu told the Senators that United States had fallen behind other countries in a “clean energy race” to produce wind turbines and advanced batteries, and that capping carbon dioxide emissions “will drive investment decisions toward clean energy.”
The Senate bill proposes a cap-and-trade system, as does a similar House-passed climate bill, and says U.S. emissions must be cut by 20 percent of 2005 levels by 2020 (the House bill demands a 17-percent emissions cut by 2020). By 2050, both bills mandate an 83-percent reduction in emissions. These targets promise to divide the Senators, as does the question of whether or not to block the EPA from regulating emissions.
According to the Washington Post, Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK), the ranking Republican on the Senate environment committee, continues to deny that climate change is an issue, saying the science “has already shifted” against global warming, and that it is “not settled.”
— Suzanne Bopp