A Senate committee approved a broad bill on Wednesday night to address climate change, a major step toward passage of a measure that would for the first time slow and then reverse emissions of the gases that scientists blame for the warming of the planet. I strongly support this legislation (and I would support stronger legislation.) I feel that it will address air pollution as well as reduce risks of possible climate change. The increased costs to carbon will mean more nuclear and renewable power. My previous articles have discussed the EIA forecast of the effect of a climate change bill. (Triple nuclear and renewables and possible reduction of coal to 11% by 2030.) I think this bill has a good chance of passing in 2008 or 2009 because many big businesses (car companies, dupont etc…) feel that after George Bush is gone the pressures (Al Gore and the Inconvenient truth lobby) will only increase for even stronger legislation.
The Environment and Public Works Committee split largely along party lines on the bill, which calls for a roughly 70 percent cut from 2005 levels by 2050 in the production of carbon dioxide and other climate-altering pollutants.
The committee, which approved the measure by an 11-to-8 vote, worked through dozens of amendments over nearly 10 hours of hearings on Wednesday.
The legislation, which is opposed by a powerful array of forces including utilities, oil companies and manufacturers, faces an arduous path through the full Senate and then in the House. Little action is expected before the first of next year.