Boxer: Climate bill ready

By LISA LERER
Politico.com
10/13/09

A major Senate climate change bill is written and ready to be debated before the Environment and Public Works committee, the chairwoman of the panel said Tuesday.

Sen. Barbara Boxer’s legislation would distribution of tens of billions of dollars of pollution allowances to power plants, manufacturing, and other industries. It will mirror cap and trade legislation passed by the House in late June with, she noted, “a few tweaks.”

The legislation has been sent to the Environmental Protection Agency for analysis, which should be completed by the end of the month.

Boxer’s move is another piece of good news for climate advocates. On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham co-authored an op-ed with Sen. John Kerry pushing for a climate bill – a signal, said environmentalist, that Democrats may attract bipartisan support for a carefully crafted bill.

“It’s happening,” said Boxer. “We’re making progress.”

Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus, however, also plans to draft legislation dealing with the pollution allowances.

“My position is that’s great, he should do that as well,” said Boxer. “At the end of the day this should be a collaborative process.”

Boxer is planning three days of hearings, kicking-off on October 27, with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar all expected to testify.

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