Monday, November 09, 2009

Is Barbara Boxer Getting 'Played' By Her Colleagues?


By Norris McDonald

Before the ink dried on the passage of the global warming bill (S. 1733) out of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EP&W), Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham and Joseph Lieberman were promoting alternative legislation. And John Kerry is the cosponsor of S. 1733 with Barbara Boxer, Chairwoman of the Senate EP&W Committee. In fact, Senator Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, seems to be hedging his bets on getting climate change legislation by taking a route around his bill cosponsor. Is this a deal between them just to get legislation passed? After all, the Republicans on the EP&W Committee boycotted the mark up and none were presented to vote on the S. 1733.

Since S. 1733 will be the instrument going to the Senate floor for debate, I can only assume that Kerry and Lieberman are working with Graham to have a substitute ready when and if S. 1733 falters. One recommendation I have for the alternative legislation is to increase the amount of free offsets to participants from the 35% in S. 1733 to 97.7%. This will keep the cost down for us ratepayers and still provide the market mechanism needed for a successful program.

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