The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Climate Legislation Update

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 9, 2009

Although it appears that the Senate climate bill won't come to the floor for a few weeks, work continues on climate legislation in Washington. According to an AP news report, the White House has stepped up its lobbying efforts to push for a bill, and administration officials have met with more than half of the senators as well as mayors and governors to drum up support. The report also quotes Carol Browner, the president's assistant for energy and climate change, as saying the goal "is to get the bill moving and keep it moving."

One of the primary sponsors of the senate's bill, Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, says she won't hold mark up on the Kerry-Boxer climate bill until the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) completes its study on the bill's potential impact. As reported in Greenwire, Sen. Boxer says the Kerry-Boxer bill is very similar to the Waxman-Markey bill so it shouldn't take long for the EPA to provide its analysis.

Next Wednesday, Oct. 14, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee is expected to hold a hearing on the economic effects associated with climate change legislation. Among those testifying will be Douglas W. Elmendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, which recently released a new analysis showing that the Waxman-Markey bill would reduce the nation's productivity (GDP) by as much as 3.5 percent by 2050. Likewise, the Treasury Department recently issued information indicating that the bill could cost the average American household up to $2,000 a year, which is far more than a postage stamp a day.

In fact, it appears that climate legislation as currently envisioned could be very costly to anyone who drives a vehicle, heats a home and works for a living. As API's president and CEO Jack Gerard says, "it will undermine our energy security by making American consumers more reliant on foreign sources of refined products, kill jobs and increase fuel costs.

"America needs all the jobs we can get and our economy will need energy from all sources to fuel a recovery and sustain economic growth."

If you're concerned about climate legislation and its potential impact on your life, send your story to EnergyCitizens.