Bingaman to give climate bill another shot

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In addition to the House of Representatives, it looks like Jeff Bingaman — our boy from Silver City — is getting in on the climate change action as well. From The Hill:

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) is floating climate-change legislation on Capitol Hill that he plans to introduce soon. A draft version of the bill has been circulated to several Senate offices and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) will release an analysis of the proposal Thursday, according to Bill Wicker, press secretary for the majority on the Senate Energy Committee. The senator will hold a hearing later this month.

The legislation would institute a cap and trade program for greenhouse gases beginning in 2012. To limit costs, a “safety valve” would kick in, should the price of a pollution permit rise above $7 a ton.

According to the report, Bingaman introduced similar legislation last year as well. Hopefully it will have a better shot this time around.

UPDATE — Friday, 11:30: In comments, John Fleck comes through with this Kevin Vranes commentary of the bill, and what it will mean for carbon emissions:

The results came to me in a Dem-side press release from Senate Energy with the title, “EIA Analysis of Mandatory Climate Legislation Shows: Detailed Plan Won’t Harm U.S. Economy” and that seems to be true, but at the same time, reductions in CO2 are minor. In fact, over the 20-year life of the proposal what we see is a cut in emissions growth, from 44% to 21%. Again, we’re still talking about a (very significant) growth in U.S. emissions.

Vranes said it would be easy to argue whether its enough as a first step, but I have no problem saying any step in the right direction is a good thing. Still, check out the commentary and decide for yourself.

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