A Wild Ride: Big News from the Clean Energy Front

A lot has happened quickly in the clean energy world. Here’s a wrap-up:

  • Yesterday was day two of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s markup process for the Kerry-Boxer bill. Republicans once again boycotted the proceedings, although they made a couple of cameo appearances. The markup continues today — you can see it on C-Span. And, Greenwire is now reporting that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has given EPW Chairwoman Barbara Boxer “the green¬† light” to move ahead without the GOP. Reid reportedly told Boxer to advance global warming legislation on Tuesday, November 10,¬† if Republicans have not ended their boycott by then.
  • At the same time, three strange bedfellows — Sens. John Kerry (D-MA), Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) announced they would work on a “dual track” to create a climate bill that would get 60 Senate votes. Our Tony Kriendler says the three have given “new life to a bipartisan process.”
  • The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is making tentative gestures of support in the general direction of a climate bill. The Chamber, which has been slammed by the media and abandoned by some of its own members since saying we need a “Scopes monkey trial” on climate science, said today that it “supports most of the principles outlined” in that Kerry-Graham-Lieberman proposal. Details are still fuzzy, but Tony Kreindler says: “We’re delighted to see the Chamber recognize that there’s a bipartisan path forward to a cap on emissions. If they support it, that would be truly a first.” Indeed, we at EDF would all be thrilled if the Chamber’s new tone were followed up with real action.
  • A new group launched today “to support action to limit greenhouse gases and counter the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” American Businesses for Clean Energy includes high profile companies — including some who quit the Chamber because of its stance on climate change. Members include utilities — New Jersey’s Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (PSEG), Florida’s FPL Group Inc. (FPL) and New Mexico’s PNM Resources (PNM) — as retailer Gap Inc. and Colorado ski resort operator Aspen Skiing Co. More from the Wall Street Journal.
  • And New York University School of Law’s Institute for Policy Integrity released a new poll of 144 economists. It found a whopping “94% believe the U.S. should join climate agreements to limit global warming,” and that “significant benefits from curbing greenhouse-gas emissions would justify the costs of action.”
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