10/05/2009 - Last week, Democratic Sens. John Kerry of Massachusetts and Barbara Boxer of California released a climate change bill, designed to limit greenhouse gas pollution over the next few decades. It was a significant announcement, the culmination of months of behind-the-scenes work. But they weren't alone. The same day, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule to do basically the same thing, but on its own terms.
The EPA's proposal, which would curb emissions from the country's biggest industrial polluters, is just a draft, nothing final, so it still has to go through a public review that could take more than a year to complete. But the move underscores a major source of tension over how to limit domestic greenhouse gas emissions. That the United States will regulate these emissions at some point now seems likely. The uncertainty is over who will control how it's done: Congress or the EPA.
Over the next month, insiders say, small groups of senators will continue talking with colleagues and industry representatives to tweak the bill to address concerns. At the moment, the bill is short of support to pass the Senate, with at least a dozen Democrats and several Republicans on the fence. "Do we have to work hard to win 60 votes? Sure," says Phyllis Cuttino, director of the Pew Environment Group's global warming campaign. "But part of the way to get those votes is to try to negotiate with members around what they need to protect their citizens."
Read the full article Senators, EPA Push to Regulate Emissions on U.S. News & World Report's Web site.
Pew is no longer active in this line of work, but for more information, visit the main Pew Campaign on Global Warming page.