Lugar unveils ‘business friendly’ energy & climate bill, with Graham’s support
By Jon H. Harsch
© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.
Lugar explained that his “Practical Energy and Climate Plan Act of 2010” is designed as an alternative to the House-passed Waxman-Markey bill and the Kerry-Lieberman bill proposed in the Senate. He dismissed those bills which both include cap-&-trade provisions as out of touch with the American public and too expensive for “our already fragile economy.” He acknowledged that his bill which relies on incentives for industry rather than putting a price on carbon would achieve less than “half the President’s 2020 greenhouse gas emissions goal.”
Despite the Lugar bill’s lack of a price on carbon, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) – who previously insisted on the need to price carbon – joined Lugar in introducing the bill, calling it “a good start.” Also previously, Graham was a co-author of the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham cap-&-trade climate bill before he withdraw his support, citing concern over Senate priorities.
Sens. Dick Lugar (R-IN) and Lindsey Graham (R-SC) unveiling Lugar's Energy & Climate bill Wednesday. Photo: AgriPulse.
Lugar and Graham said Lugar’s approach recognizes the political reality that
there’s not enough bipartisan support for a cap-&-trade bill and the
economic reality that the
Both Lugar and Graham said that they are hopeful that they can attract Democrats to support the Lugar bill’s more energy-focused approach which relies on steady improvements in vehicle, building and industrial energy efficiency standards. The bill also boosts financial support for nuclear power development. Responding to the BP oil spill disaster, the bill drops Lugar’s previous provisions for increased offshore oil drilling.
One indication of potential support for the Lugar bill will be Thursday’s
Senate floor debate on the proposal by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) to remove
EPA’s authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act. If a
significant number of Democrats supports Murkowski’s “Resolution of
Disapproval,” that could be a clear sign there is not sufficient support in the
Senate for passing the Kerry-Lieberman cap-&-trade bill. In that case,
Lugar and Graham might win over enough Democrats to pass a compromise bill that
doesn’t cap carbon but would at least represent a small step in the direction
To read Senator Lugar’s 112-page S. 3464, “Practical Energy & Climate Plan Act” introduced June 9, go to: http://lugar.senate.gov/energy/legislation/pdf/EnergyBill.pdf
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