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Reid seeks elusive climate bill compromise

Updated, 11:50 a.m.

By Juliet Eilperin

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) will begin circulating his climate bill proposal Tuesday among members of the Democratic Caucus and some Republicans, but according to sources, one thing is clear so far: the measure lacks the votes to pass.

Reid has drafted a scaled-back bill that appeals to the Democratic base, sources said, complete with a provision limiting the amount of greenhouse gases that the electric utility sector will be able to emit in the years ahead and a low-carbon fuel standard. It will also include a renewable energy standard, but it is still unclear if the measure will demand utilities to source 20 percent of their electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar. The sources asked not to be identified because the bill details have not been announced publicly.

An aide to Reid said the leader will not provide all the measure's details at the Tuesday Democratic Caucus lunch. "He is not unveiling a bill in caucus," Reid spokesman Jim Manley said in an e-mail.

While Reid is going to try to pick up Republican votes as well as unify the Democratic Caucus behind his plan, if he brings his bill to the floor next week it may just signal the starting gun for a debate that will culminate in the fall, after the August recess.

"It's not clear that there are 60 votes for a climate and energy package right now," said Joe Stanko, who heads government relations at the law firm Hunton and Williams and represents greenhouse gas emitters. "If anything happens it will be a debate, with the real work happening in September."


Juliet Eilperin

 |  July 20, 2010; 11:50 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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I feel badly for those still in lala land and believe that because they have been on this planet 20 years or so and have been spoon fed this man made global warming scam. Even now, after those responsible for concocting this hoax have been ousted and admitted that the earth's temperature has not warmed as carbon emissions have increased. No thread here to tie them together. I know, your leftist progressive teachers have been pushing this on you, including the lies that will cost all of us jobs and crush this economy just as it has in Europe.

Until we come up with a true alternative for fossil fuels, we will be using them for the next 10-50 years. Look into what goes into and how to dispose of the batteries, light bulbs and other alternatives to fossil fuels. These create hazardous waste and still rely on fossil fuels for power. The hybrid cars will not last long enough to pay for themselves. If you want to make a difference that can help, we should switch to natural gas, the cleanest burning of all real choices. It is readily available across the country and any combustible engine can be converted to burn it easily with bolt on parts. But, NOOOOOO! Our President is interested in a carbon tax because he and his cronies created the Chicago Climate Exchange and expect to make billions from it, control all energy in this country and to hell with the working class families he so wants you to believe he represents. This is the most corrupt Adm and Congress I have known of for 40 years. That's why they won't listen to the people they represent because it is financially rewarding to them only.

Please come back to reality and think. You can't replace fossil fuels with wind or solar for at least two reasons:1) Totally inefficient, and 2) too costly.

Some here want to compare the US to China. No comparison because we believe in the free market system and this country was founded on it, making it the most powerful and most giving country in the world, but, any of you think differently, go ahead and move overseas to live the life of socialism. This Pres and Congress has done more to establish Socialist policies in this country than have been attempted since W. Wilson was in office. Please, stop thinking with your little head wanting some utopian society and come to grips with reality.

Posted by: leasador | July 22, 2010 1:23 PM
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Airborne82 Part3

Next, NOAA claims,
“The third line of evidence is based on comparisons of actual climate with computer models of how we expect climate to behave under certain human influences.
This is the sine qua non of the NOAA/IPCC argument, i.e., that their computer models include all necessary algorithms that describe all of the physical mechanisms that affect warming and cooling of the climate. This is obviously false. If it were true, their models would show a period of warming between 850 and 1350 AD. The models fail that test just as they fail to display the Little Ice age circa 1500 through 1800 AD. The fact is that their models are superficial analog depictions of climate history. There are about 3 dozen different models each contains about 2 dozen arbitrary parameters. No two of the models produce similar results. The average of these highly tweaked models shows a reasonable depiction of the temperature history of the 20th century. Tweaking consists of adjusting the values of the various arbitrary parameters until the x-y graph displays the proper shape. In this case the proper shape is the temperature history of the 20th century. On the other hand, a group of graduate students devised a model that draws a picture of an elephant. They needed just 16 arbitrary parameters.

Posted by: snorbertzangox | July 21, 2010 5:36 PM
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Airborne82 Part 2

The NOAA paragraph goes on to say,
“The second line of evidence is from indirect estimates of climate changes over the last 1,000 to 2,000 years. These estimates are often obtained from living things and their remains (like tree rings and corals) which provide a natural archive of climate variations. These indicators show that the recent temperature rise is clearly unusual in at least the last 1,000 years.”
which is not true. Nearly every analysis of temperature proxy data shows that the temperature during the Medieval Climate Optimum (circa 850 to 1350 AD) were as warm or warmer than they are today. (The only proxy study that shows the temperature history that NOAA describes is the thoroughly discredited tree ring studies of Mann et. al, which clearly are not reliable.) Furthermore, those temperature analyses show that there were at least three prior periods when the temperature was warmer yet. Those temperature excursions have occurred at approximately 1,500-year intervals for at least 6,000 years. No one has demonstrated that greenhouse gases caused any of the previous temperature rises; they must have occurred naturally. Rhetorical, why is this period of warmth different from the other 4.

Posted by: snorbertzangox | July 21, 2010 5:34 PM
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Airborne82 Part1
I followed your link to the NOAA site and found that you had quoted the first sentence of a general paragraph in a Frequently Asked Questions section. So, I proceeded to read the paragraph, even though it contained no supporting evidence or links to supporting information. The next sentence said,
“The first line of evidence is our basic physical understanding of how greenhouse gases trap heat, how the climate system responds to increases in greenhouse gases, and how other human and natural factors influence climate.”
I will assume that NOAA understands how greenhouse gases create hysteresis in the diurnal warming and cooling of the atmosphere, thereby raising low temperatures and concomitantly average temperatures the same way that other scientists do. NOAA described the heat as being “trapped”, which is inaccurate. I agree that carbon dioxide and other gases retard the passage of certain infrared wavelengths, thereby retarding the rate at which the biosphere loses heat at night. However, I do not agree with the second portion of the sentence. It is clear that neither NOAA nor IPCC understands how the climate system responds to increases in the concentration of carbon dioxide, because if they did their models would correctly predict the vertical temperature profile. The models do not do so. Nor can the models or any other NOAA understanding explain why recent unabated rises in carbon dioxide concentration have failed to cause rising temperatures. Nor can I agree that NOAA or IPCC understands “how other human and natural factors influence climate”. Neither NOAA nor IPCC has sponsored significant research aimed at increasing our understanding of those factors. For additional information on this subject, refer to the website of Roger Pielke Sr.

Posted by: snorbertzangox | July 21, 2010 5:31 PM
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Americans have Subsidized and Sacrificed enough Jobs to help China Job growth. Now it's time to encourage China to play fair and for the USA to Do more than just Talk about China's Currency Manipulation that is costing the USA millions of Jobs. Actions speak louder than words. China’s currency manipulation and other Policies Cheat the USA in several areas:
1) Currency manipulation. China "pegs" its currency at a very low, or "weak" rate, so goods from China cost up to 40% less than they otherwise should.
2) Labor-rights suppression has lowered manufacturing wages of Chinese workers by 47% to 86%.
3) There is massive direct government subsidization of export production in many key industries.
4) China allows environmental degradation that ends up affecting all of us.
5) Intellectual property theft and piracy mean that American products that could be sold are stolen instead.
6) China has a number of policies that block U.S. firms from market access.

This costs USA Industry Millions of Jobs. Not the Walmart and dollar store product Jobs, but the big industrial multi-million dollar steel, carbon fiber and technology (Nuclear, Aviation, Transportation etc.,) products.

The USA must Immediately enact a gradual tariff on all goods imported from China up to 40% within 12 months in response to their currency manipulation that keeps the Yuan/Renminbi 40% below value. Ratify the free trade agreement with South Korea which will allow fairer trade than what we have with China.

S. 1254: Currency Exchange Rate Oversight Reform Act of 2009: A bill to identify foreign currency manipulation and apply tariffs to their imported good as is fair to the US consumer:

The Fair value for the Chinese Yuan is ¥4/$1 not ¥6.78/$1. A rate of ¥4/$1 makes USA made products more affordable for the Chinese and promotes job growth in America.

Posted by: Airborne82 | July 21, 2010 1:30 AM
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China is pulling ahead in worldwide race for high-speed rail transportation:

“Last year (2009), China surpassed the United States as the world's largest automaker. The country is aggressively making jets to compete with Boeing and Airbus. And in recent years, with little outside notice, China made another great leap forward in transportation: It now leads the world in high-speed rail.”

Germany, China sign billions of dollars in deals

“Chinese and German companies signed deals worth billions of dollars to make trucks and power equipment Friday as the prime ministers declared their countries' economies had recovered from last year's global recession.”

In 2009 China invested $100 Billion into High speed rail compared to US stimulus investment of $8 Billion. China is investing $120 Billion in High speed rail for 2010. This is where the Jobs will be if the USA remains Slaves to status quo Oil and Coal and don’t compete for the Jobs and Industries most in need.

That is an Economic and National Security Disaster in the making. If the Oil and Coal industries have their way, America will be enslaved to Middle East Oil and Chinese Economic Dominance.

Posted by: Airborne82 | July 21, 2010 1:17 AM
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Clean Energy Technologies creates Jobs, Private Investment and Tax Revenue while Producing Products Americans can sell to the world. China is happy to keep subsidizing USA debt so Americans can purchase products made in China and Create Jobs and Industries in China.

China trade surplus with the USA is projected to be $250 Billion for 2010 ($71 Billion for 1st Quarter) and their Defense budget is under $150 Billion versus $722 Billion for the USA in 2010. This $800 Billion Dollars a year goes towards Creating Jobs and Industries in China.

China combines the Power of the State to help create Private Industry Jobs. The USA "Wastes" money on 100% taxpayer funded big Defense Toys while China "Invests" money on Products they can sell. While the GOP is Blocking Clean Energy, National Security and Jobs Legislation here is what China is doing:

World Nuclear Association: 23 Nuclear Reactors under construction In China:

* Mainland China has 11 nuclear power reactors in commercial operation, 23 under construction, and more about to start construction soon.
* Additional reactors are planned, including some of the world's most advanced, to give more than a tenfold increase in nuclear capacity to 80 GWe by 2020, 200 GWe by 2030, and 400 GWe by 2050.
* China is rapidly becoming self-sufficient in reactor design and construction, as well as other aspects of the fuel cycle.”

Posted by: Airborne82 | July 21, 2010 1:06 AM
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NOAA Satellite and Information Service:
“A large body of evidence supports the conclusion that human activity is the primary driver of recent warming. This evidence has accumulated over several decades, and from hundreds of studies.”

God would not want man to profit on Poisoning Children and Wildlife, yet that is exactly what Coal, Oil, Gas and Livestock Industries are doing. Hydraulic Fracturing Pumps Poisons directly into your Groundwater; Coal Strip-mining Poisons local Communities; Livestock Manure Poisons local Water basins; Oil...etc, and this doesn't even include global warming damage, it's just business as usual for these industries.

The Truth Hurts to those who want to kill American workers and wildlife; stifle clean energy jobs in favor of fossil fuels and animal manure, and Poison both Fresh Water supplies and Children with impunity.

Posted by: Airborne82 | July 21, 2010 12:44 AM
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Posted by: yourmomscalling | July 20, 2010 6:22 PM
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Those favoring wind generated electricity mandates would be shocked if the truth were actually published about wind power results in Europe. Spain has threatened the entire country's solvency with ill advised wasted money spent on 'green' energy. Germany is halting subsidies. England has lots of windmills and is learning that the major result is lots of dead birds, ruined landscape, and near zero benefits in terms of energy or CO2 suppression in return for billions spent.

Green jobs are subsidized at hundreds of thousands of dollars each, and the people are laid off when the construction is completed. As soon as the subsidy stops, those folks can get another temporary job demolishing the trashy windmills that never should have been built.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | July 20, 2010 5:28 PM
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How interesting that people like OLIVIADEF will buy into the idea that CO2 is a pollutant, while not realizing that the Obama administration continues the previous policies of allowing coal fired power plants to emit actual pollution like sulfur, mercury compounds, and nitrogen compounds. CO2 is crucial to life on earth and these other things are poisonous.

RACHHUMACHER proposes policies that would benefit us all, but there is apparently nothing in these kinds of sensible policies that is attractive to the Democratic Party that is now in control. They would rather rail on about questionable CO2 policies than actually doing something to benefit the country. Collecting more gasoline tax and spending it on infrastructure would bring real jobs to people who need them and improve the country's productivity by allowing people to commute to work and travel with less wasted time and less fuel consumption and less pollution.

The diverted energy poured into CO2 suppression will look pretty stupid if temperatures actually start to decline over the next few years, and most of the rabid warmists of today will then refuse to admit that they ever supported this nonsense.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | July 20, 2010 5:21 PM
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The anti-scientific climate-change deniers of today's T-bag GOP will do the conservative movement no favors in the next decade or two, as climate change becomes impossible to ignore. Conservatives who value other parts of their movement would be wise to connect with reality on this issue: the reality is, at this point climate change is going to cost trillions of dollars and endanger millions of businesses, homes, and lives-- the only question is how bad we let it get. I'd hate to be the heirs of todays conservatives when the heat and storms get so bad that voters wake up and see the way they've been scammed by the fossil-fueled GOP all these years.

Posted by: frededias | July 20, 2010 3:22 PM
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Isn't a "scaled-back bill that appeals to the base" an oxymoron? It's either a scaled back bill to try to win over the other side, or it's a hardcore bill to win over the base, but it can't be both.

Posted by: TheGreenMiles | July 20, 2010 2:58 PM
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Dead in the water. If you beleive the neo-pagans, we're all dying as we breath, despite living longer and longer. The people of the US are not guinea pigs to be experimented on with a cap and trade policy that will test some climatologists theories by providing a negative result. There are NO HARD FACTS that support MAN MADE CLIMATE CHANGE. The earth has been hotter in the past, with no ice caps, without the existence of humans. Humans are the only animal that doesn't understand the basic principle of survival OF THEIR OWN SPECIES.

Posted by: kroverstreet | July 20, 2010 2:28 PM
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I hope that OLIVIAEDF was engaging in rhetorical flourishes. Too often activists think that the perfect is the enemy of the better. Even if they are not enough by themselves any restrictions on fossil carbon or incentives for non-fossil energy would be better than nothing.

Each of the following partial measures would be a huge step forward:
- Eliminating all tax incentives for fossil fuel production
- Raising the gasoline tax by $0.20 and applying the revenue to transit improvements and pollution reductions
- Eliminating incentives for corn-based fuel ethanol and the $0.50 per gallon import duty on fuel ethanol

Posted by: raschumacher | July 20, 2010 1:41 PM
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I am glad that the scaled back version of the bill still includes a cap on carbon, even if it is only targeted at the utilities sector. Anything less would be an utter failure that does nothing to wean us off our dangerous oil addiction. Anything less would allow companies to continue to pollute for free, while taxpayers are left dealing with the health consequences of dirty air. Anything less would not sufficiently incentivize investment in new-energy technologies and would miss a major opportunity for job creation as a result. Anything less is unacceptable.

Posted by: oliviaedf | July 20, 2010 11:11 AM
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