Turn to the nation's most objective and informative daily environmental news resource to learn how the United States and key players around the world are responding to the environmental...
By Dean Scott
Jan. 9 --Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is setting aside time at his party’s weekly caucus lunch in the Capitol to focus solely on climate change, a senior Senate aide said Jan. 9, in hopes of one day reviving a bill to cut carbon dioxide emissions and better defend President Barack Obama’s climate efforts from Republican attacks.
Reid reserves “a permanent spot” for the climate issue each week when Senate Democrats sit down for their hour-plus policy lunches, the aide told Bloomberg BNA.
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) is to provide the next climate update to senators at the Jan. 14 lunch, as Democrats steel themselves for Republican attempts this year to block Obama’s use of his executive branch authority to cut power plant carbon emissions and take other climate actions.
With the Republican-controlled House and most Senate Republicans opposed to bills to cap or tax those emissions, there is a growing sense among Senate Democrats that near-term progress will require a staunch defense of Obama’s initiatives, outlined by the president in June, the aide said .
“We realize the president is the only game in town for climate initiatives” in the near future, the aide said. “So we’re fighting back.”
In recent weeks, two other Democrats--Sens. Barbara Boxer (Calif.), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)--have made presentations on the climate issue before their colleagues at policy lunches, the aide said.
Boxer and Whitehouse told reporters Jan. 9 that they are launching a new Senate climate task force to unite Democrats in what they admit will be a long journey to revive U.S. climate legislation.
The two Democrats are to formally unveil that new group of senators Jan. 14 and plan to showcase several recent arrivals to the Senate who support climate action.
Sen. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), who as a longtime House member co-authored the cap-and-trade bill that cleared that chamber in 2009, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) are among the Democrats joining the task force.
Boxer’s environment committee also is to hold a hearing Jan. 16 to trumpet Obama’s climate action plan, which set timetables for the power plant carbon dioxide limits .
The task force joins an increasingly long list of so far Democratic-only groups launched in the past 13 months to spur action on climate change, including a House-Senate task force founded by Whitehouse and Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) to push for congressional action.
Boxer also started what she calls a “clearinghouse” of senators in late 2012 in the wake of Hurricane Sandy to regularly brief senators on climate policy and science issues.
The Jan. 16 Environment and Public Works Committee hearing on Obama’s climate plan will include testimony from the head of the Environmental Protection Agency, Gina McCarthy, who is overseeing the agency’s efforts to set carbon limits for new and existing power plants, and other administrative officials, including a representative from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, a committee aide said.
House and Senate Republicans have criticized the EPA power plant rules for years but have thus far failed to block the agency from proceeding on the regulations. The Republican takeover in the House following the 2010 elections has left little hope of reviving a climate bill for now, but many Senate Democrats said there is a growing agreement in their caucus that they need to keep the issue alive and the pressure on, given that congressional passage could take years.
But Republicans aren't alone in opposing the power plant limits. Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) joined the chairman of the House Energy and Power Subcommittee, Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-Ky.), Jan. 9 in introducing a bill to curb the EPA’s authority to set those emissions limits (see related story).
To contact the reporter on this story: Dean Scott in Washington at email@example.com
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Larry Pearl at firstname.lastname@example.org
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)