WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A last-ditch attempt at passing a climate change bill begins in the Senate this week with senators mindful that time is running short and that approaches to the legislation still vary widely, according to sources.
"We will present senators with a number of options when they get back from recess," said one Senate aide knowledgeable of the compromise legislation that is being developed. The goal is to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that scientists say threaten Earth.
The options will be presented to three senators -- Democrat John Kerry, independent Joseph Lieberman and Republican Lindsey Graham -- who are leading the fight for a bill to battle global warming domestically...
...Congressional elections will be held on November 2 and there is wide agreement that if the Senate cannot pass a climate bill by mid-year, already hard-edged political partisanship will become hyperactive, making it nearly impossible for Congress to move on much of anything...
...Meanwhile, "so much political juice" is now being expended by U.S. environmental groups on a side-issue to the climate bill, said Frank O'Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch. He was referring to green groups' attempts to stop Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski from advancing her bill blocking the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions, starting with vehicles.
The Obama administration would prefer to let Congress set climate change policy. But if it is unable to, the White House wants the EPA as a fallback.
Graham has talked about cobbling together a "hybrid system" for reducing carbon emissions.
Claussen said, "If I was going to guess, it's probably cap and trade for electricity," which accounts for about 40 percent of carbon emissions, and maybe a separate oil industry tax or fee, with consumers being protected from price increases.
Tackling carbon emissions from factories making steel, cement, paper, glass and other large manufacturers either could be put off "for much later" or they could be given options for participating, she said.
Sounds like the same sort of colossal concoction of corruption and bullshit that marked the Senate's attempt to slap together a Frankenstein's monster of a health care bill. Seems to me the only way to stop it dead is to scream HELL NO as loudly as folks did about that other mess.