Weekly Climate Change Policy Update - June 21, 2010

Profession:Van Ness Feldman
 
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Article by Kyle Danish, Shelley Fidler, Kevin Gallagher, Megan Ceronsky and Tomás Carbonell

Commentary

The President is bringing together a small bipartisan group of Senators this week to further discuss energy/climate legislation . . . In comments over the weekend, Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel expressed interest in seeing a power-sector-only cap-and-trade bill. Sen. Lieberman may oblige . . . Last week's meeting of the Senate Democratic Caucus was long on presentation, but short on decision. They will meet again this week to attempt to reach consensus on a course of action. Majority Leader Reid wants to bring a bill(s) to the floor of Senate starting the week of July 12 . . . According to EPA, the Kerry-Lieberman bill would cost U.S. households an average of $79 to $146 per year, or 22 to 40 cents per day. . . . The Majority Leader reportedly has committed floor time for Sen. Rockefeller's bill that would impose a two-year suspension on any EPA Clean Air Act regulation of GHG emissions from stationary sources.

Executive Branch

White House to Host Meeting With Senators on Climate and Energy Policy; Chief of Staff Indicates Potential Support for Utility-Only Cap-and-Trade Program. The White House continued efforts to reach out to the public and to key Senators to chart a path forward for climate change and clean energy legislation in this Congress: Following his first Oval Office address on June 15, which focused primarily on the federal government's response to the BP oil spill, the President placed calls to Sens. John Kerry (D-MA) and Richard Lugar (R-IN). The White House also announced plans for the President to meet with a bipartisan group of Senators on June 23 to discuss the legislation. According to a report in Politico, Sens. Kerry, Lugar, Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Judd Gregg (R-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), and Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) are expected to attend. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that "the President's direction on energy is very similar to the direction that is in the Kerry-Lieberman bill, and the President feels strongly that including a component to deal with climate is important in comprehensive energy reform." In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said that this Wednesday's meeting would include a discussion of a "wide range of ideas" and said that the notion of enacting a narrowly focused cap-and-trade program that would only include electric utilities would be "welcomed." President Obama's first Oval Office address reaffirmed his support for clean energy legislation, and commended the House of Representatives for passing a "strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill" last year, but also said he was "happy to look at other ideas and approaches from either party so long as they seriously tackle our addiction to fossil fuels." The President's speech did not discuss the issue of climate change or endorse any specific policy mechanisms. The text of the President's remarks is available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/remarks-president-nation-bp-oil-spill. DOE to Provide Over $600 Million in Grants for CCS Projects. In an effort to test large-scale carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) at industrial facilities, the Department of Energy (DOE) awarded $612 million in grants for three demonstration projects at an ethanol plant, a methanol plant, and an oil refinery facility. The grants were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment...

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