Senate cap-and-trade bill delayed for a few weeks, sponsors say

The US Senate’s version of carbon cap-and-trade legislation will not be introduced until later in September, its two sponsors said on Aug. 31.

Sep 2nd, 2009

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Sept. 2 -- The US Senate’s version of carbon cap-and-trade legislation will not be introduced until later in September, its two sponsors said on Aug. 31.

Majority Leader Harry M. Reid agreed to provide Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) more time to work on the bill, Boxer and Reid said in a joint statement.

They said Reid agreed that more time will be needed to work on the bill’s final details “and to reach out to colleagues and important stakeholders” following the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), Kerry’s recent hip surgery, and work on health care legislation on the Finance Committee, where Kerry is a member.

“We have told the majority leader that our goal is to introduce our bill later in September,” Boxer and Kerry said in their statement.

James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.), the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s ranking minority member, said a hearing earlier this summer revealed that Democrats still were a long way from having enough votes to pass what he considers the largest tax increase in US history. “With the climate-change debate on Capitol Hill, it’s safe to report that bipartisanship is nowhere in evidence,” he maintained.

“Cap-and-trade has pitted Democrat against Democrat or, put another way, it centers on those in the party supporting the largest tax increase in American history against those in the party who oppose it,” Inhofe continued. “As to just who will win this intraparty squabble, I put money down on those representing the vast majority of the American people, who are clear that cap-and-trade should be rationed out of existence.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

More in Government