Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Senate May Split Renewable Energy From Cap And Trade

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hinting that Congressional attention to health care reform, and the new urgency respecting financial regulatory reform, could push Senate floor consideration of climate change legislation past New Year's day. Responding to a reporter's question, Reid said, "We do have this health care matter. We now have the president in the last few days saying how important regulatory reform is. So, you know, we are going to have a busy, busy time the rest of this year. And of course, nothing terminates the end of this year. We still have next year to complete things that we have to."

Meanwhile, other Senators are talking about separating the controversial cap and trade provisions of energy policy legislation from the renewable energy mandates, in order to get a renewable energy mandate passed this session. Senator Byron Dorgan, an opponent of cap and trade, says, "It's increasingly difficult to have climate legislation done by the end of the year." Addressing the proposed mandate for 15% of electric power to be produced from renewable sources by 2021, Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee ranking member Lisa Murowski said, "This might start to look attractive even without the cap and trade piece. That's not being ruled out as a possibility."

Other Senate Committee Chairmen with jurisdiction over climate change legislation, including Barbara Boxer of Environment and Public Works, and John Kerry of Foreign Relations, continue weekly meetings with swing vote Senators on cap and trade strategy.
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