FINAL UPDATE: The American Clean Energy and Security Act has been approved by the House with 219 in favour, 212 opposed.
The bill moves to the Senate where it will be mangled all over again.
How are its prospects there? Not too good if this Environmental Capital post is to be believed:
Amid all the arguing, though, here’s one fact that no one disputes: No matter what happens today, this bill is a long way from becoming law.
That’s because the Senate isn’t anywhere close to passing a climate-change bill—and has scuttled attempts to speed up the process. The top Republican on the Senate environment committee, noted global warming sceptic James Inhofe, has said flatly that the Senate version of the bill won’t pass. “It’s just not going to happen,” the Oklahoma Republican said recently.
The Senate legislation’s future may depend in part on what happens in the House today—not just whether the House version passes, but by how much. Earlier this year, most experts expected the bill to sail through the House without much difficulty, putting pressure on the Senate to act as well. Instead, today’s vote looks too close to call.
“Without a resounding House endorsement, I think the Senate is going to view this as too risky to take up in any significant way,” says Bill Durbin, head of carbon research for the consulting firm Wood Mackenzie.
UPDATE 2: E&E says, the bill is on track to be approved:
House Democrats appeared headed for a major legislative win this afternoon on a comprehensive energy and global warming bill after a furious day of lobbying on and off the floor.
“I’m as optimistic about this as I was about the budget,” Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) told reporters as the House started debating the 1,200-plus page measure, adding that some media reports had written him off for winning the votes on the fiscal 2010 budget resolution.
One by one today, sponsors of the bill picked off the needed support that has them on the verge of a first-ever House vote in favour of cap-and-trade legislation. Proof of their work came as Reps. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) and Debbie Halvorson (D-Ill.) both stood up on the floor for colloquies on the bill with Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
UPDATE: FBR now says:
Ultimately, we expect Democratic leaders to build sufficient consensus to pass the bill this afternoon. However, there remains significant uncertainty. If the bill fails to pass today, we expect the House to return and pass it later this summer.
ORIGINAL: FBR Capital just put out a note that says the bill won’t pass without some last minute changes:
- As Congress begins debate, we believe Democratic leaders are just short of the 218 votes needed to pass the bill today, but we expect leaders to negotiate throughout the afternoon to achieve majority support and pass the bill.
- A manager’s amendment offered by Chairman Waxman makes a number of additions reflecting recent negotiations. Most significantly, the amendment provides new authority for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to site interstate transmission lines in the West if states fail to act sufficiently on proposals. It limits the existing federal backstop transmission siting authority to the Eastern interconnection where integral to a proposed interstate line. The amendment establishes federal backstop siting authority for the Western interconnection for multistate lines that emerge from the regional planning processes without conflicts over the need for the line to meet demand for renewable energy. Federal backstop siting authority would apply when state authorities do not issue a decision on an application within one year, deny the application, or authorise the siting of the facility subject to unreasonable conditions. The provision is narrower than the Senate’s backstop siting provision and does not include a cost allocation scheme.
- In a positive for ethanol producers, on Tuesday night, Democratic leaders agreed to delay by at least five years the Environmental Protection Agency’s effort to calculate “indirect” greenhouse gas emissions from land-use changes when implementing the Renewable Fuel Standard.
- The Waxman-Markey bill would cap greenhouse gas emissions from covered sources to 97% of 2005 levels by 2012, 83% by 2020, 58% by 2030, and 17% by 2050. 80-five per cent of approximately 4.6 billion tons of covered emission allowances will be allocated for free to a number of industries and government programs. The EPA issued an analysis of the Waxman-Markey bill that lowers its projection of allowance costs to $13 per metric ton CO2 equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2015 and $16/MtCO2e in 2020. The Congressional Budget Office projected $28/MtCO2e by 2020. For every $10/MtCO2e, coal-fired power generation costs would rise by approximately $9.40/MWh and gas-fired would rise by approximately $3.80/MWh. The bill proposes to reduce these costs to consumers in the early years through free allocations to local electric distribution companies. (For more on this, see our May 22 note, “Committee Passes Climate Bill.”) In contrast, for every $10/MtCO2e, gasoline costs rise by approximately $0.088/gallon, but the refining industry receives only about 2% of the free allowances.
For what it’s worth, Intrade has the odds of the climate change bill being passed at 50%.
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