Boxer Delays Senate Climate Bill Until September

This was supposed to be a big week for action on climate change in the Senate — but it’s ending with Republicans rubbing their hands in glee as the Environment and Public Works Committee delays its unveiling of legislation on carbon emissions.

070619_boxer.jpgSenate environment committee chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) (Photo: AP)

As Reuters reports this afternoon:

[Environment committee chairman] Barbara Boxer (D-CA) said her self-imposed deadline of early August for finishing writing a
bill to combat global warming has been put off until after Congress
returns from a recess that ends in early September.

"We’ll do it as soon as we get back" from that break, Boxer told
reporters. Asked if this delay jeopardizes chances the Senate will pass
a bill this year, Boxer said, "Not a bit … we’ll be in (session)
until Christmas, so I’m not worried about it."

But Boxer did not guarantee Congress will be able to finish a bill
and deliver it to Obama by December, when he plans to attend an
international summit on climate change in Copenhagen.

Just two weeks ago, Boxer advised supporters of transportation reform to "work with me on my global warming bill" as she called for a quick rescue of the nation’s highway trust fund.

The highway account is expected to run dry in mid-August, sending Congress and the Obama administration scurrying to find $20 billion to keep state-level road projects funded until the end of 2010.

Boxer’s postponement of a climate debate in her committee may well be an acknowledgment of the challenge lawmakers are facing to rustle up that $20 billion by month’s end — especially given that House transportation committee chairman Jim Oberstar (D-MN) is refusing to budge on his commitment to a new transportation bill this year. The delay in climate may also be driven by the uncertainty surrounding a global pact on emissions reduction.

No matter what, however, the environmental news out of the Senate today is not good.

  • Marty Barfowitz

    Wow, Boxer’s committee is really becoming the place where incredibly important legislation goes to die. It seems like it’s no different than if James Inhofe were still in charge.

  • hareynolds

    Considering that “global warming” STOPPED in 1998, even as CO2 levels continued to climb, AND there have been fewer days with sunspots in the last year than at any time since 1913, DELAY on this idiotic bill is probably a smart move.

    Have a good long read at wattsupwiththat.com

  • rt

    Why would anyone pay any attention to that idiot Boxer. Is this the best that California can come up with for the Senate?

  • JohnR

    The House had to pass SOMETHING to satisfy their environmental base. They did the best they could, which isn’t saying much. A 1400 page Rube Goldberg contraption that nobody read: $650B in new taxes, with a green veneer that does virtually nothing to reduce CO2.

    Boxer realizes this has zero chance to pass in the Senate, and rule #1 is you don’t take on a fight you know you can’t win. They’ll let the dust settle, look to do major re-writes, and maybe even put nuclear back on the table to siphon off a few Republicans.

    They wouldn’t even do that if it weren’t for their desperate desire to find huge new tax revenues.

  • hsr0601

    In regard to the stimulus investment, my understanding is as follows:

    1. The current surging fuel cost (World oil prices doubled during the last 6 months) is overwhelming the market rally.
    And the pending clean energy bill might serve as a second stimulus package world-wide boosting private investments.

    2. People are so worried about losing their job, coverage, denial of treatment, which seems to increase bank deposit latetly. That means stimulus funding mainly goes toward bank deposit for a rainy day increasing jobless rate. It proves again that a healthy society yields better productivity, prosperity.
    It is time to ‘Change’ the notion of the public health as a fundamental human right and install ‘a safety system for all’ like all of the other industrialized nations, I think.

    3. The stimulus funding begins to mobilize just 11%, meanwhile, the auto industry has undergone its restructuring with the massive job-related impact.

    4. The pandemic swine flu has been hurting the global economy seriously.

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