Skip to comments.Climate bill sets stage for debate (Sens. McCain, Obama, and Lieberman join forces)
Posted on 01/11/2007 10:53:01 PM PST by NormsRevenge
WASHINGTON - Potential presidential rivals John McCain (news, bio, voting record) and Barack Obama (news, bio, voting record) are joining with newly independent Sen. Joe Lieberman on a plan they say would reduce annual global-warming gases by two-thirds by mid-century.
Their bill, being announced Friday, is intended to cut the heat-trapping emissions by 2 percent a year. It is sure to produce a contentious debate on climate control in the new Democratic-run Congress and draw strong opposition from the White House and industry.
Sens. McCain, R-Ariz., Obama, D-Ill., and Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, are calling for mandatory caps on greenhouse emissions for power plants, industry and oil refineries. Their plan would require releases of heat-trapping gases to return to 2004 levels by 2012 and to 1990 levels by 2020.
Carbon dioxide, produced from the burning of fossil fuels, is the primary greenhouse gas. U.S. emissions of this gas have increased an average of about 1 percent year since 1990.
Under the proposed legislation, greenhouse gas emissions would be cut from 6,100 metric tons of carbon equivalent in 2004 to about 2,100 metric tons in 2050, according to a fact sheet describing the legislation.
As a compromise, the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee is preparing a more modest bill that would slow the growth of greenhouse gases. Under the proposal by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (news, bio, voting record), D-N.M., annual emissions would continue to increase until 2030 and then perhaps decline.
McCain and Lieberman offered a climate bill two years ago, as did Bingaman. The McCain-Lieberman legislation was defeated in the GOP-controlled Senate; Bingaman withdrew his after it became clear he lacked the votes for passage.
Since then, lawmakers have become increasingly convinced that Congress must do something to address the threat of global warming.
Scientific evidence has pointed to a warming of the earth because of pollution, and 2006 was reported as the warmest on record in the United States, according to the National Climatic Data Center.
"With each passing year, the consequences of federal inaction on reducing greenhouse gas emissions become more devastating for our children and grandchildren, and the range of solutions grows smaller," Obama said in a statement Thursday.
Bingaman, however, said he was looking for a compromise with better prospects for approval.
"I am committed to developing bipartisan climate change legislation that can pass the Congress this year," Bingaman said.
President Bush has opposed regulating carbon dioxide, contending it would cost too much and hurt economic growth. He has turned to a plan of voluntary emissions reductions through increased energy conservation and use of nonfossil fuels by industry. Those measures are well on their way to slowing the growth of greenhouse gases, the administration says.
That is not enough, however, for Obama, McCain and Lieberman.
Lieberman insisted their bill "solves the global warming problem without weakening the nation's economic position or imposing hardship on its citizens." Their plan would rely heavily on the development of new technologies and market-based techniques to diminish the cost of emissions reductions, he said.
To keep costs in check, businesses could buy emissions "credits" from other companies that have exceeded their reduction targets and could use other methods to avoid the most costly cutbacks, according to a draft of the bill obtained Thursday by The Associated Press.
"This sets the stage for the new Congress and the 2008 presidential race" on the issue of climate change, said Larry Schweiger, president of the National Wildlife Federation.
An analysis released Thursday by the Energy Information Administration concludes that the mandatory "cap-and-trade" approach advocated by Bingaman would have a modest effect on household energy costs and little overall cost to the economy.
The agency estimated that under Bingaman's plan, consumers' electricity bills in 2030 probably would be about 11 percent higher than what they otherwise would have been. Households would pay an additional $41 to $58 a year for energy in 2020 and an additional $118 to $136 in 2030.
But the EIA estimated that while the growth of emissions would slow, the actual amount of heat-trapping pollution would be 24 percent greater in 2030 than in 2004 because of the growth in energy use.
The EIA did not examine the measure coming from Lieberman, McCain and Obama.
U.S. Senator Barack Obama (D-Ill) (R) and U.S. Senator Russell Feingold (D-WI) address questions from the media about ethics during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington January 8, 2007. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)
Senators John McCain (R-AZ) (R) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) chat at the political forum about Iraq at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington January 5, 2007. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES)
"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus
Chipmonk McLame finds a nut.
...there is no evidence of global warming...
I don't know why they keep pushing McCain for 2008, I have yet to encounter anyone who says they will vote for him! He's right where we all know he wants to be, in the rats corner!!!
At the start of every rodeo everybody buys hats, when the rodeo ends, the cowboys leave town and hats are a dime a dozen.
You can't be cereal.
See the propaganda in the article they use the term 6,100 metric tons to describe the amount mankind puts into the atmosphere, but do not mention that there is more than 133 times this amount that nature puts into the atmosphere. Mankind contributes less than the normal fluctuations that either sea plankton or the land bio mass puts up.
The logical approach would be to analyze the Sun's output first and foremost. The cause of virtually all global warming.
that's it then..the sun must go, blow 'er up!
These yutzes are doing this during a war. For shame!
Does McCain really think sponsoring Kyoto-light is going to help him win the Republican nomination?