John Kerry: Bipartisan Clean Energy Bill Still On the Way


Photo via Guardian

The conventional wisdom says that the prospects for a clean energy bill are dim this year. John Kerry says not to listen to any such conventional wisdom. He says a bipartisan group of senators is still indeed at work on bill that will stimulate clean energy growth and price carbon emissions--and that such a compromise bill is on the way, Reuters reports.According to that report,

Senator John Kerry said a bipartisan climate change bill would emerge soon in the U.S. Senate, contradicting what he called the "conventional wisdom" that the legislation was dead this election year. Kerry is working closely with the Obama administration and a bipartisan group of senators on a comprehensive bill to reduce U.S. carbon dioxide pollution blamed for global warming. "We're on a short track here in terms of piecing together legislation we intend to roll out," Kerry told a climate policy forum, without giving details of his proposals.
Kerry said that despite his view being, in his words, "completely contrary to any conventional wisdom," that we can expect to see that bill shortly.

A few big gaps remain--there's reportedly no agreed-upon core mechanism for curbing emissions. Cap and trade, cap and dividend, and even a straight up carbon tax are all still considered possibilities. Kerry says that every imaginable option is still on the table.

And that carbon tax is reportedly the favorite option of none other than Lisa "Dirty Air Act" Murkowski (R-AK) who is currently sponsoring an amendment to stop the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions. I'll get more into this weirdness later on today.

Kerry's encouraging report (and his optimism) notwithstanding, there's still going to be a tough fight to get energy legislation passed. Many senators are spooked about the midterm elections (or using that as an excuse for inaction) and health care reform, as everyone knows, has been dealt some painful blows. However, the White House has voiced its firm support for energy reform, and has been working to move it along. Let's hope Kerry can steer a bipartisan climate bill through the rubble.

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