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Senate Abandons Climate Bill...Now What?

On July 22, the congressional attempt to pass comprehensive climate change legislation officially ended for the year. That day the World Resources Institute unveiled a report assessing carbon reductions possible under existing federal and state law.
July 27, 2010, 11am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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NYT 'green' blogger John Broder evaluates the WRI report in light of the Senate's failure to pass legislation. It's clear that the EPA's existing authority to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act would have to play a central role in any reduction effort, says Broder. However, the report concedes that "new legislation is needed to put a price on the emissions from dirty-burning fossil fuels, the group concluded."

"The study (warning: quite wonky) looks at federal and state laws governing greenhouse gas pollutants and asks if they can achieve the goal set by President Obama at the international climate conference in Copenhagen last December - a 17 percent reduction over 2005 levels by 2020.

The short answer from the institute is no. The longer answer is that it depends on how hard federal and state officials try."

From Washington Post editorial: Outlook chilly for a smart climate bill: A range of possibilities remain for possible Senate legislation, e.g. a renewable portfolio mandate, promotion of natural gas and efficiency. "But these are not enough to achieve the size of emissions reductions for which America must aim. The most attractive policy is putting a simple price on carbon, which would encourage private initiative to reduce emissions."

Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters

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Published on Friday, July 23, 2010 in The New York Times - Environment - Green (Blog)
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