Whatever Happened To The Climate Bill?

carbon emissions tbi

Remember the other sweeping, complex legislation in Congress — climate change?

The big sucker is still there — it’s ostensibly to clear the U.S. Senate by September 28 — but it seems unlikely President Obama will sign a bill this year with Washington intensely focused on health care reform.

What to do? Reduce emissions in the meantime.

The EPA is finalising rules to control industrial greenhouse gases:

Greenwire via NYT: U.S. EPA is nearly finished with rules that answer the Supreme Court’s 2007 opinion on global warming, as well as a nationwide standard to control greenhouse gas emissions from automobiles.

The regulatory push comes as Senate Democrats struggle to find the votes to pass a global warming bill. Committee chairmen have delayed the introduction of their cap-and-trade proposal until later this month, but it is unclear if they will get traction as Congress wades deeper into a battle over overhauling the nation’s health care system.

The goal had been that the President sign climate change legislation in advance of a major U.N. environmental summit in Copenhagen this December. But that’s unlikely, and so the EPA is stepping in — even though the agency would prefer cap-and-trade:

Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, insisted again last week that the Obama team would still prefer cap-and-trade legislation over implementing her agency’s climate regulations, which are certain to be the target of lawsuits.

“I firmly believe … and the president has said all along that new legislation is the best way to deal with climate change pollution,” she said on National Public Radio’s “Diane Rehm Show.”

New rules, however, mean lawsuits from industry.

“I think it’s safe to say that anything EPA touches involving climate change at this point will be challenged by somebody,” said Roger Martella, EPA’s general counsel under President George W. Bush.

Holmstead, now an industry attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani, said he expects three separate challenges to pending EPA regulations: one to the endangerment finding, one to the greenhouse gas tailoring rule, and one to the Clean Air Act portion of the car and truck standards.

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