Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are presenting an energy and climate change bill today that has some business-friendly measures.
But the bill doesn’t have enough conservative substance to attract Republican support and thus faces a difficult road ahead.
The bill mandates greenhouse gas reductions while providing new incentives for nuclear power, coal, natural gas and offshore drilling, according to The Hill news service, which obtained a summary of the report.
In addition to lack of support from the right, the bill faces attacks from the left, as environmental groups are unhappy with provisions that don’t meet their extreme agendas.
For example, the bill bans state cap-and-trade programs and imposes new curbs on the Environmental Protection Agency’s regulatory authority over greenhouse gases.
To encourage states to allow offshore drilling, the bill grants them permission to claim a 37.5 percent royalty.
But to draw support from several coastal-state Democrats who came out against offshore drilling after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the bill permits states to ban drilling within 75 miles of their shores. They can also forbid drilling if an accident could cause them grave harm.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who had been working on an energy bill with Democrats, abandoned the effort for now.
That’s because Democratic plans to pass an immigration bill and outrage over the Gulf oil spill make it impossible to pass a sensible energy bill, he says.
“Getting the idea out there and letting people know that it is new and different, that is their belief, that that will help over time. My belief is that the environment has to be right to do something difficult,” he told reporters Tuesday, according to The Hill.
Still, Graham praised the package while cautioning that he didn’t know all the details.
“The product is different and the product was a collaborative effort with industry and environmental groups like we have never had before,” he said.
“Now you have environmental groups attacking the drilling provisions. I don’t know what kind of environmental damage that will do,” he said.
Kerry is cautiously optimistic. “Harry Reid wants to do it. The president wants to do it. Whether we can or not, we will wait and see,” he told reporters Tuesday.
Politicians pushing climate-change legislation such as cap and trade are more interested in grabbing power rather than paying attention to the complete scientific record, Roy Spencer, a former NASA climate scientist, told Newsmax.TV.
“The legislation train left the station over 20 years ago, and it’s going to be very difficult to stop,” said Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama, Huntsville.
“I think there are politicians who really do not care about the science, but are looking to expand government and gain control over our energies.”
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