Third Day of Climate Bill Debate Focused on Timetable, Economics
In the third and final day of hearings on the climate bill in the Senate, Republican opposition centered on two objections, reports the New York Times. Senators James Inhofe (R-OK) and George Voinovich (R-OH) worried about the rapid pace of the bill moving through Congress and the EPA’s economic analysis of the bill, which they say is incomplete.
Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) is trying to move the bill forward while Republican senators continue to complain that they have not had enough time to sufficiently study the proposal to establish a cap-and-trade system that will help to reduce sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
“This is a big bill, we need to really get at it, but if you jam this thing through here, it’s not going to be good,” Voinovich said.
Republicans were not the only ones with reservations about the bill. Max Baucus (D-Montana), one of the “bluedog” Democrats, said that he had not yet decided how he would vote on the climate bill, and that he wants a less aggressive emissions target for 2020. He also wants to insert language in the bill that would stop the EPA from putting climate regulations in place through the Clean Air Act, action the agency could take in the absence of a climate bill.
“Let’s see what’s in it,” Baucus said of the bill. “We’re negotiating.”
Arlen Specter (D-PA) echoed Baucus’s concern about the EPA, pointing out the importance of pre-empting EPA to provide industry “certainty” under an emissions control program.