Posted by: mstermitz | June 26, 2009

House Debating Climate Bill

A House vote is possible today, June 26 on the Waxman-Markey Bill, one of the highest profile pieces of environmental legislation in the country’s history. Debate on the 1,200 page bill began this morning and continues at the time of this post. The centerpiece of the Bill and the debate continues to be the reduction in CO2 emissions (17% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 83% by 2050 from 2005 levels) and the cap and trade program. Like most legislation, the goals and means of achieving them are the result of compromise negotiations and as such represent less rigor than many (including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) would prefer, but of course far more than the status quo, which is nothing.

Much of the debate will center on whether this legislation would put the U.S. at global economic disadvantage. Even without the passage of this Bill, or maybe especially if it does not pass, the U.S. is likely to endorse and participate in global strategies that it heretofore has shunned. It seems unlikely, especially since the greenhouse gas reduction measures in this Bill are less not only than the IPCC recommendations, but some U.S. states, that U.S. companies will be inordinately disadvantaged solely because of Waxman-Markey.

This link will take you to live video coverage of the debate provided by C-SPAN.


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