Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA) pushed the climate bill through the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee yesterday, but it's becoming clear the bill won't get far before the world meets in Copenhagen.
Boxer decided to ignore the Republican boycott of the Climate Bill - and the requirement that 2 Replublicans be present to vote for passage - and passed the bill based on a simple majority of people present.
Only one Democrat voted against the bill, Senator Max Baucus of Montana. He chairs the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which also needs to approve the legislation.
At least two Republicans had to be present in order to debate and present amendments to the bill, so the scores of amendments couldn't be discussed.
Baucus said although he's committed to passing a climate change bill, this one goes too far. The bill would reduce emissions 20% by 2020, which hundreds of reports and studies show is an easily achievable target - and one that's half the target scientists say is necessary to avert the worst consequences of climate change.
Instead, Baucus wants the target to be 17% by 2020 with a trigger that would kick in if other countries also agree to meet a 20% by 2020 goal. The House bill, passed in June, also has a 17% target.
Whether it's 17% or 20%, emissions would be reduced below 2005 levels, making total reductions only 4% below 1990 levels, the benchmark year scientists use.
Further, to get 60 votes in the Senate will require incentives to expand nuclear energy, offshore oil drilling, and clean coal technologies.
Now, Senator John Kerry (D-MA), Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Senator Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) say they will work together to come up with a compromise bill that can pass the Senate.
They say they'll take the best pieces of the Kerry-Boxer bill and try to broaden support by adding more incentives for nuclear power and offshore drilling.
Reprinted with permission from SustainableBusiness.com