Saturday :: Nov 25, 2006

Open Thread - Global Warming Converts Edition

by Steve

Several weeks ago I mentioned that the elevation of Barbara Boxer to chair of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee and Jeff Bingaman to chair of the Senate Energy and National Resources Committee would lead to a breakthrough on federal legislation on global warming, perhaps the implementation of the McCain-Lieberman carbon-trading approach. It looks like the energy industry is adapting to the new Democratic leadership and is now supporting a federal approach on global warming involving cap-and-trade remedies similar to McCain-Lieberman, rather than see itself complying with a multitude of state regulations.

"If we had our druthers, we'd already have carbon legislation passed," said John L. Stowell, Duke Energy's vice president for environmental policy. "Our viewpoint is that it's going to happen. There's scientific evidence of climate change. We'd like to know what legislation will be put together so that, when we figure out how to increase our load, we know exactly what to expect."

That’s right, there’s a business reason for a national standard, something that has escaped Shooter and the Shrub for several years now.

Though many energy firms had already voiced support in recent months for federal regulations limiting greenhouse gas emissions, the coming changeover in Congress has intensified the discussions.
"There have been many more folks wanting to engage on the detailed architecture of climate-change legislation," said Jason S. Grumet, executive director of the bipartisan National Commission on Energy Policy. "The tenor, tone and the detail of discussions has changed in the last couple of months. Nobody's going to want to be the last company to come before the Congress and say, 'I've been opposing you for five years, but now can I have my piece?' "

It will be fun to see Boxer, Bingaman, Lieberman, and McCain fashion a national global warming policy that comes close to what Kyoto would have done six years ago, with the support of industry, putting Bush and Cheney out on an island if they subsequently veto it.

OK, it's your turn.

Steve :: 12:00 AM :: Comments (10) :: Digg It!