New Developments on Senate Climate Bill – And What We Have to Gain

There was a flurry of new developments on a Senate clean energy & climate bill yesterday. Topping the list — a group of key senators met with industry groups, hoping to win their support:

Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) shared an eight-page outline of their draft legislation that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions over the next four decades, including provisions to limit business costs while ramping up domestic production of oil, gas and nuclear power.

According to several sources in the meeting room, the bill calls for greenhouse gas curbs across multiple economic sectors, with a 2020 target of reducing emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels and an 80 percent limit at midcentury. Power plant emissions would be regulated in 2012, with other major industrial sources being phased in starting in 2016.

In South Carolina, Sen. Graham’s efforts earned support from two key constituencies. As Grist reports, the Christian Coalition and a veterans group are backing efforts to pass clean energy & climate legislation.

And the Natural Resources Defense Council issued a report warning about the impacts this spring’s expected gas price spikes could have on our economy — and what we can do to protect ourselves. The report’s #1 recommendation? Pass comprehensive climate & energy legislation:

“America’s ongoing dependence on foreign oil is draining our wallets and our economy,” said Deron Lovaas, a transportation expert at the Natural Resources Defense Council, which commissioned the report.

Congress should also fundamentally reform federal transportation policy to encourage development near public transportation and help states and regions save oil, the report says, citing rail and bus lines, bike paths, sidewalks and other alternatives to driving.

See the 10 most vulnerable & 10 least vulnerable states at