Posted by: Martin Fox | May 12, 2010

Climate bill aimed at stemming global warming, create jobs

Fresh off the internet press…

Martin Fox with the Center for Global Leadership. Learn more about our work at www.LeadGlobally.org.

One Earth, One People, One Global Community

Bill aimed at stemming global warming, create jobs

By MATTHEW DALY, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON – Sens. John Kerry and Joe Lieberman unveiled a long-awaited bill Wednesday that aims to curtail pollution blamed for global warming, reduce oil imports and create millions of energy-related jobs.

The 987-page bill, the product of more than seven months of negotiations and tweaked recently in response to the Gulf oil spill, also includes new protections for offshore drilling and for the first time would set a price on carbon dioxide emissions produced by coal-fired power plants and other large polluters.

The legislation aims to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping greenhouse gases by 17 percent by 2020 and by more than 80 percent by 2050. Both targets are measured against 2005 levels and are the same as those set by a House bill approved last year.

“We can finally tell the world that America is ready to take back our role as the world’s clean energy leader,” Kerry, D-Mass., said at a news conference, surrounded by environmentalists and leaders from an array of energy companies.

“This is a bill for energy independence after a devastating oil spill, a bill to hold polluters accountable, a bill for billions of dollars to create the next generation of jobs and a bill to end America’s addiction to foreign oil,” Kerry said, calling stakes for the legislation “sky high.”

Lieberman, I-Conn., predicted the bill would pass, citing what he called a growing and unprecedented coalition of business, national security, faith and environmental leaders who are “energized” to work for it.

He and Kerry said in an interview that Senate colleagues have been surprised at the strong support from business leaders, including oil companies, major utilities and the nuclear power industry. Among those in attendance at Wednesday’s news conference were Jim Rogers, chairman and CEO of North Carolina-based Duke Energy; Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, which represents shareholder-owned electric companies, and Lew Hay, chairman and CEO of FPL Group Inc., a Florida-based power company.

The bill also is supported by most environmental groups. A coalition of 22 groups, including the Sierra Club, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund and The Wilderness Society, endorsed the bill in a joint letter Wednesday.

President Barack Obama added his support, saying the nation must work to end its dependence on fossil fuels.

“The challenges we face — underscored by the immense tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico — are reason to redouble our efforts to reform our nation’s energy policies,” Obama said in a statement. “For too long, Washington has kicked this challenge to the next generation.”

Despite the lofty rhetoric, the measure faces a steep road in the Senate amid partisan disputes over the drilling provisions and other issues, including immigration reform.

South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, who had been the bill’s only Republican backer, withdrew his support last week, saying it is impossible to pass the legislation in the current political climate.

Graham issued a statement Wednesday praising the bill but casting doubt on its prospects.

“The problems created by the historic oil spill in the Gulf, along with the uncertainty of immigration politics, have made it extremely difficult for transformational legislation in the area of energy and climate to garner bipartisan support at this time,” Graham said.

The bill would allow states to opt out of federal drilling up to 75 miles from their shores, a concession to lawmakers concerned about offshore exploration in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill.

It also would allow states directly affected to veto drilling plans of nearby states if they could show that significant negative effects would result from an accident. The bill requires an Interior Department study to determine whether states could be economically and environmentally affected by a leak from an offshore drilling rig.

States that can demonstrate significant negative effects could pass a law opposing a specific project.

States that go ahead with offshore drilling would retain 37.5 percent of the federal revenue generated — a shift from current policy. Now royalty revenue goes to the Treasury; states collect no royalties.

Senators in Western states are likely to oppose the change, saying offshore revenue belongs to the nation as a whole. But coastal states argue that when an accident occurs, they’re the ones affected.

Kerry and Lieberman said the bill would exempt farms and most small and medium-sized businesses from the emissions provisions, concentrating efforts on the largest polluters. Restrictions would not take effect until 2013 for power plants and transportation fuels, and 2016 for manufacturers.

Allowances would be granted to local electricity companies, which would be required to use them to help customers.

The bill also would offer incentives of up to $2 billion a year for companies that develop so-called clean coal technologies. It also has several provisions aimed at boosting nuclear power.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100512/ap_on_bi_ge/us_climate_bill/print;_ylt=AkYtmq6saAJcCa1Icdbx7G2p_aF4;_ylu=X3oDMTBvajZzaTFyBHBvcwMxNQRzZWMDdG9wBHNsawNwcmludA–

Advertisements

Responses

  1. While watching the latest news about the BP Oil spill, a frightening thought came to mind: what if we can’t stop the oil? I mean, what happens if after all the measures to cap the pipe fail, (i.e., “Top Hat”, “Small Hat” and “Top Kill”). What then? An accident this problematic is new territory for BP. The 21 inch oil pipeline is nearly a mile down on the ocean floor, accessible only by robots. Add on top of that the extreme pressure at which the oil is flowing out of the pipeline and there you have it: the perfect storm.

    Moreover, scientists also claim that they’ve found an enormous plume of oil floating just under the surface of the ocean measuring approximately 10 miles long, 3 miles wide and 300 feet thick. (I’m no math genius, but I bet one of you reading this could figure out just how many barrels of oil that is…)

    There are new estimates that the amount of oil spewing into the Gulf of Mexico is anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 barrels of oil a day: that’s a far cry from BP’s estimated 5,000 barrels a day. If BP’s estimates are correct, the total amount of oil now in the Gulf would be approximately 150,000 barrels (or 6,300,000 gallons). That’s barely enough to fill 286 swimming pools: sixteen feet, by thirty-two feet, by eight and a half feet deep. That wouldn’t cover an area the size of New York City, let alone an area the size of Delaware. Obviously, the spill is much larger than we are being led to believe. If the leak can’t be stopped, in a year’s time, we’ll have roughly 18,250,000 barrels of oil (or 766,500,000 gallons) in our oceans, killing our marine and animal wildlife. Such a calamity would be environmentally and economically disastrous. I’m not a religious man, but I pray that BP and our government work fast to end this catastrophe.

    http://www.calculateme.com/Volume/Barrels(Petroleum)/ToGallons.htm

    http://blogs.howstuffworks.com/2010/05/17/latest-news-from-the-oil-spill-in-the-gulf-of-mexico-is-grim/

    http://blogs.creativeloafing.com/dailyloaf/2010/05/20/scientist-says-oil-spill-is-leaking-100000-barrels-of-oil-a-day-not-bps-estimate-of-5000/


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: