Climate Legislation Moves Forward

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) have offered a draft of the Clean Energy Jobs & American Power Act, the Senate version of climate change legislation.
The bill would be more aggressive than the House-passed bill (Waxman-Markey), since it calls for a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (the House version calls for 17 percent).

Details such as how companies would acquire allowances to cover their emissions would be worked out during the committee process and addressed by both the Senate Environmental & Public Works and the Finance committees. One contentious point of negotiation will be determining which industrial sectors get what allowances.

The Kerry-Boxer bill is not expected to see a floor vote in 2009. Key Democratic senators, particularly those representing coal-producing states or Rust Belt manufacturing states, maintain a wary opposition to the idea of cap and trade, and did not take an initial position.

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