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Climate Policy Watch

GROUPS FEAR GHG REDUCTION TARGETS WILL HURT COMPETITIVENESS

Industry groups are raising concerns that greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets sought by California state officials may be premature and could hurt the business climate and competitiveness.

These concerns may affect the fate of a proposal pending in California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's (R) office that could serve as a model for other states, and could sink a state bill that establishes specific GHG emission reduction targets by 2010 and 2020, sources say.

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NORTHEAST DELAYS CLIMATE CAP AGREEMENT TO ANALYZE IMPACT ON STATES

Northeast states will likely postpone unveiling the framework for a regional greenhouse gas initiative (RGGI) expected this summer because they need more time to assess the impact of a cap-and-trade program on individual states, officials in the region say.

Officials working on the program also say they are likely to give wide discretion to states in deciding how to implement the initiative, leaving a daunting task ahead for governors and state legislators between now and the target date for implementing the program in 2008.

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GROUPS FEAR GHG-REDUCTION TARGETS WILL HURT COMPETITIVENESS

Industry groups are raising concerns that greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets sought by state leaders either through legislation or executive branch action may be premature and hurt California's business climate and competitiveness. These concerns may be affecting the fate of a Cal/EPA proposal pending in the governor's office, and could sink a bill that establishes specific GHG emission reduction targets by 2010 and 2020, according to sources.

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HAGEL LIKELY TO DROP EMISSIONS CREDITS FROM CLIMATE CHANGE BILL

Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) is poised to introduce 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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HAGEL MAY DROP EMISSIONS CREDIT PROVISIONS FROM CLIMATE LEGISLATION

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

Hagel is considering revising his bill as Sens. John McCain (R-AZ) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) are expected to float a new version of their mandatory climate change bill, adding new incentives for developing low-emitting technologies.

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ENVIRONMENTALISTS SEE VOLUNTARY CLIMATE CHANGE VOTE AS MORAL VICTORY

Despite an aggressive campaign for mandatory greenhouse gas controls, environmentalists say a congressional vote in favor of 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, such as Sen. Chuck Hagel's (R-NE) three legislative proposals for voluntary guidelines.

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PRICE CONCERNS MAY BE HOLDING UP CALIFORNIA GHG REDUCTION PROPOSAL

California state officials' concerns about potential energy price impacts may be holding up a proposal to set statewide greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction targets that could serve as a model for other states, sources say.

California EPA (Cal/EPA) Secretary Alan Lloyd earlier this month told lawmakers that the proposal has been sent to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R), but declined to provide details of the targets for emission reductions.

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CALIFORNIA FACES UNCERTAIN IMPACT FROM OUTCOME OF EPA CLIMATE CASE

A pending federal court decision on EPA's authority to limit greenhouse gases may be a key factor in a separate lawsuit over California's pending standards for automobiles, since both cases raise the issue of whether the Clean Air Act allows the regulation of carbon dioxide (CO2), sources involved in the cases say.

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INDUSTRY GROUPS SEEK MODELING DETAILS TO ASSESS IMPACT OF RGGI 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, because they have unanswered questions on the cost of the program and how it will impact electricity consumers, industry they and other observers say.

These concerns come as states have unveiled the broad outlines of new modeling results that show the economic impacts of the regional program could be much higher than in earlier predictions.

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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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