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Climate Policy Watch

Industry Seeks Data On Costs Of Upcoming Regional Greenhouse Caps

Industry officials are asking Northeast states to release detailed modeling results on the impact of a pending regional cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases in response to concerns about the costs of the program and how it will impact industrial electricity consumers, industry officials and other observers say.

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Northeast Pushes Regional Greenhouse Gas Controls Despite National Concerns

In an effort to quickly move forward with a Northeast plan to crack down on greenhouse gases, the region's states will likely put off a decision on how to offset a potential increase in carbon dioxide emissions in other parts of the country resulting from the regional controls.

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SENATORS EYE TECHNOLOGY INCENTIVES TO BOOST CLIMATE CHANGE BILL

In an attempt to broaden support for mandatory climate control legislation, Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) are poised to introduce a revised version of their cap-and-trade climate change bill that contains new incentives for developing low-emitting technologies.

McCain told Inside EPA, "As we learn, we know that we want to make technologies attractive to business so that they will be more involved" in efforts to combat climate change.

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NORTHEAST MAY DELAY DECISION ON EMISSIONS 'LEAKAGE' IN CLIMATE PLAN

Northeast states may postpone a decision on how to prevent the displacement of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to other parts of the country under their regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI), in order to launch the program first and address the issue in future years, industry and environmentalist sources say.

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Hagel Likely To Drop Emissions Credit Language From Climate Change Bill

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is poised to reintroduce a revised version of climate change legislation that would drop a controversial emissions credit provision that critics say would open the door to mandatory greenhouse gas controls, according to Senate and other sources.

Hagel is considering revising his bill as he and other prominent Republicans, including Sen. John McCain (AZ), are jockeying to be a leading voice on the high-profile issue of climate change.

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ACTIVISTS VIEW VOTE FOR VOLUNTARY CLIMATE CONTROLS AS VICTORY

Environmentalists are pushing a number of conservative senators to vote for climate legislation even if the bills only contain voluntary climate controls, in an effort to show growing support for curbing global warming, the activists contend.

Environmentalists say they will consider it a "psychological victory" if even voluntary climate control measures succeed, like Sen. Chuck Hagel's (R-NE) bills on climate change technology.

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COURTS MOVE CLOSER TO RULING IN TWO KEY CLIMATE CHANGE LAWSUITS

Federal courts will hear oral arguments later this month in two key lawsuits on regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which could have major implications for the federal government's responsibility to oversee global climate change, in the absence of new legislative mandates.

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CABINET CONCERNS MAY BE DELAYING CAL/EPA GHG REDUCTION TARGETS

Schwarzenegger Administration fears about potential energy price impacts may be holding up a Cal/EPA proposal to establish state greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets, according to sources. Cal/EPA Secretary Alan Lloyd this week told lawmakers that the proposal has been sent to the governor, but declined to provide details of the targets or any emission reduction efforts that may be recommended.

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Environmentalists View Voluntary Climate Change Vote As Moral Victory

Despite an aggressive campaign for mandatory greenhouse gas controls, environmentalists say a congressional vote on voluntary measures to address climate change would still be a victory. Environmentalists are targeting a list of more than 10 senators as potential swing votes on climate legislation, with proposals by Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) being considered as leading contenders.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS SEEK CLIMATE CHANGE COMMITMENT FROM EPA NOMINEE

Environmentalists are seeking to counter efforts by Senate environment committee chairman James Inhofe (R-OK), who wants to ensure that EPA Administrator-nominee Stephen Johnson does not have a predetermined belief in the existence of global warming.

Ten environmental groups signed an April 5 letter to members of the committee ahead of Johnson's April 6 confirmation hearing, urging lawmakers to win commitments from Johnson that he will evaluate global warming and other public health issues based only on the best available science.

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