Posted by Josh Garrett on March 24, 2010
...Sen. Lieberman explained...the first draft of the planned bill, to be written during Congress’s two-week recess that begins on March 29. Sen. Kerry reinforced the group’s accelerated timetable, saying, “we have some really key meetings in the next few days . . . we have a lot of work to do in the next 48 hours.”...
"Details of climate bill trickle out" by Lisa Lerer | 3/24/10
Details are beginning to leak out about the climate bill, after weeks of closed-door negotiations among key Senate lawmakers and staff.
Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) spent the past week presenting an eight-page outline of the bill to key business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Petroleum Institute...
They hope to send a draft of their proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency by the end of this week. The agency needs six to eight weeks to do an economic analysis of the bill, according to administration officials.
Graham told POLITICO that the proposal mirrors the Markey-Waxman legislation that passed the House last June by putting an economywide cap on greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2012 — with the goal of reducing pollution 17 percent by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050.
But unlike the House bill, the Senate proposal puts different kinds of limits on different industries.
Separate caps are put on utilities and manufacturers that will have to buy and trade pollution allowances from the government, according to people briefed on the bill. A “hard collar” is put on the price of the allowances to prevent them from dropping below $10 per ton. If the price exceeds more than $30 per ton, the government will flood the market from a strategic reserve of 4 billion credits. The price is indexed to inflation and increases at a set rate.
[Editor's note: The above is only $120 billion in maximum value of carbon credits in the government's strategic reserve, not enough to control a speculative market that could reach valuations in the trillions. This is an indication of the lack of thought and ill-conception of this whole concept. Beyond that is the ill-conception of the linked-fee gasoline tax based on the same expected volatile and speculative carbon credits market.]
Manufacturers will be phased into the cap by 2016 to give fossil-fuel-intensive industries such as paper, aluminum and steel time to adjust to the new system. In a letter he sent to Kerry earlier this month, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) asked that the cap be delayed at least 10 years for manufacturers.
The legislation also tries to protect those industries from foreign competition by levying a “carbon tariff” on imports of goods from countries, such as China and India, that do not regulate emissions. The proposal was drafted by manufacturing-state Democrats, who refused to support the legislation unless it protected trade-sensitive industries from foreign competition.
The three lawmakers also accepted a proposal backed by big oil companies that will impose a carbon tax on gasoline to be passed along to consumers at the pump. The fee will be linked to the market price of carbon emissions bought and traded by utilities and other industries.
The legislation also preempts separate state limits on emissions...
...Sen. John Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) wants to include $20 billion for carbon capture and sequestration — technology aimed at controlling greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants...
EDITOR'S NOTE: This corrects an earlier version which incorrectly stated that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce had indicated tentative support for the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman climate legislation.