Juliet Eilperin reported in today’s Washington Post that, “Disregarding a Republican boycott, Democrats on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed legislation Thursday that would impose a mandatory curb on greenhouse gas emissions.
“The move to report out the bill sponsored by Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and the panel’s chairman, Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), highlighted the divisiveness of the current proposal, as well as Democrats’ eagerness to demonstrate they are making at least some progress before international climate talks next month in Copenhagen.
“Even as the panel approved the measure on a vote of 11 to 1 — with Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mont.) opposing it because he said it included climate targets that are too steep and would not do enough to protect farmers — attention shifted to Kerry’s efforts to collaborate with Sens. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) on a different bipartisan measure that would seek to expand the number of nuclear reactors and oil drilling off U.S. coasts. Many senators see these talks — rather than the bill approved in committee — as the main vehicle for any legislation that would reach the floor.”
The article added that, “Baucus, who had sought to bring the measure’s 2020 reduction target down to 17 percent and wanted additional provisions concerning the agriculture industry, said he will continue to work to craft a more politically viable piece of legislation.” (Note: To listen to comments made by Sen. Baucus at yesterday’s Senate Committee meeting regarding his “no” vote on the bill, just click here (MP3-3:04)).