Weekly Climate Change Policy Update - May 3, 2010

Profession:Van Ness Feldman

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

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The Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill stalemate continues. The bill has gone to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for modeling. President Obama hinted that immigration legislation may wait until next year . . . Given the limited time remaining for legislative deliberation in this election year, the parties will have to resolve the impasse very soon if there is going to be any consideration of a climate bill in 2010. Few Senators outside the K-G-L team have seen very much of the bill, which means that the proponents would have to work very fast to build understanding and support . . . EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson cautioned a House subcommittee that legislative nullification of the agency's "endangerment finding" would undo the agreement between the Obama Administration and the State of California on implementation of motor vehicle emission standards.

Executive Branch

President Obama Hints Immigration Issue Will Yield to Climate Change. Speaking to reporters on Air Force One, President Barack Obama indicated that an immigration bill might not be taken up in Congress until next year, saying "I know there may not be an appetite immediately to dive into another controversial issue." According to the President, "There's still work that has to be done on energy, midterms are coming up, so I don't want us to do something just for the sake of politics that doesn't solve the problem." As discussed below, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) left his work on the climate bill after reports surfaced that the Democratic leadership could move forward on immigration reform before the climate bill. EPA Administrator Warns Against Nullification of Endangerment Finding. Lisa Jackson, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), testified to the Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the agency's efforts to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Jackson cautioned the subcommittee against legislatively overturning the agency's December 2009 finding that GHGs endanger public health and welfare, arguing that such an action would undermine the agency's recently promulgated vehicle GHG standards. Because those standards were promulgated jointly with new fuel economy standards, Jackson argued that the nullification of the vehicle GHG standards would eliminate about one third of the joint rules' expected GHG emission reductions and one quarter of the estimated fuel savings. Jackson also stated at the hearing that the agency had not yet opened negotiations with the State of California on a framework for vehicle GHG regulation in model years 2017 and later, but would do so soon. The agency's current GHG standards cover model years 2012 through 2016. CFTC Decides Not to Exercise Jurisdiction Over Chicago Climate Exchange, For Now. The five members of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) decided unanimously against...

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