Weekly Climate Change Policy Update - April 26, 2010

Profession:Van Ness Feldman

Article by Kyle Danish, Shelley Fidler, Kevin Gallagher, Megan Ceronsky and Tomás Carbonell

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The long-awaited Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill release has been delayed. Citing frustration with the newly-announced plan of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to give immigration reform an expedited spot on the legislative agenda, Senator Graham said this weekend that he will be "unable to move forward on energy independence legislation at this time." . . . President Obama is calling on the Senate to tackle climate change immediately following financial reform. Enactment of financial reform legislation could make it easier to move forward with a climate program that includes emissions trading . . . Senators continue to circulate proposals that would remove EPA's authority to regulate GHG emissions. A new proposal from Sen. Voinovich (R-OH) would have sweeping effect, and drew interest from Sen. Rockefeller (D-WV) . . . State Department Climate Envoy Todd Stern believes the United States and other major economies can pull together the $30 billion "fast-start" financial aid package promised by the Copenhagen Accord . . . A battle is looming in the Senate on the distribution of revenues from oil and gas drilling in coastal waters.

Executive Branch

President Obama Calls for Senate to Tackle Climate Change Following Financial Reform Debate. President Barack Obama called addressing climate change "one of these foundational priorities . . . that has to be done soon," and said he expects the Senate to take up climate change in a matter of weeks, once the chamber completes work on financial reform legislation. The President also complimented the "good bipartisan process" being used to develop a climate change bill in the Senate, while noting that any bill must attract support from the business community. The President acknowledged that individual members of Congress might fear the short-term impacts of a vote in favor of climate change legislation, but said that "if we don't take these steps soon, we're going to have some big, big problems." Carol Browner, President Obama's energy and climate advisor, told reporters that the Administration is open to using border tariffs to protect U.S. industry against any competitiveness impacts of climate regulation. President Obama had warned that the border adjustments in the Waxman-Markey bill could spark a trade war. EPA Submits Tailoring Rule to OMB for Final Review. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has transmitted its final "Tailoring Rule" to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, signaling that the rule is close to being promulgated. Proposed in September 2009, the Tailoring Rule would phase-in the application of the Clean Air Act's Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V permitting...

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