Global warming policy is no longer driving comprehensive climate legislation as it did last year with the House’s Waxman-Markey bill. The new message, considered to resonate better with the public and be more agreeable among legislators, has this three-pronged goal: energy independence, job creation, and cleaner air.
The Senate’s version is expected to be released later this month, several days after April 22, so as not to coincide with Earth Day. A major reason is “we don’t want to send a mixed message,” according to Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) yesterday in the National Journal.
Sen. Graham issued the following statement today, according to Climate Progress:
Senator Graham does not support a gas tax. And the bill he is working on does not include a gas tax.
He is working with the energy industry to protect consumers from a cap-and-trade system which would do damage to our economy and national security by driving our refiners overseas. In this effort, he has some simple but important goals. They include:
* Create legislation that will significantly reduce our dependency on foreign sources of oil. Today we are more dependent on foreign oil than we were before 9/11. It is a national imperative that we must break this unhealthy addiction. By importing ever increasing amounts of foreign oil, we are placing our economy and national security at risk.
* Preempt the EPA from issuing regulations on greenhouse gas emissions which will do great harm to our economy.
* Create millions of new, 21st century jobs by ensuring environmental policy is good economic policy.
* Limit carbon pollution.
This tri-partisan effort is the best hope for Senate passage of an energy policy reform bill this year.