IBJNews

Lugar's energy bill winning support

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who worked for months on legislation to cap carbon emissions, is backing an alternative aimed at curbing greenhouse-gas emissions through incentives for energy conservation.

The new bill, offered Wednesday by Sen. Richard Lugar, a Republican from Indiana, would require new homes, businesses and appliances to use less energy, encourage states and utilities to adopt more renewable power and provide incentives for building nuclear reactors and retiring coal-fired power plants.

The Senate will take up “comprehensive clean-energy” legislation next month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, has said, without setting out the provisions. Graham in April dropped support of a measure he helped develop calling for a “cap-and-trade” system to limit carbon emissions and create a market in pollution allowances, starting with utilities.

“The carrot-stick approach is the basis of cap-and- trade,” Graham, a South Carolina Republican, said at a news conference Wednesday where he endorsed Lugar’s measure. “This is a carrot-stick approach, but there are more carrots than sticks.”

Lugar’s bill may be able to muster the 60 votes needed for Senate passage because it wouldn’t cap emissions or expand offshore drilling, two controversial issues in the Senate, Graham said.

Graham had worked with Senators John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, to develop the earlier measure. He dropped his support after Democrats began talking of taking up legislation on immigration first. He later said the BP Plc oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made it impossible to pass that effort at a compromise, which included plans for more offshore exploration.

Lugar said his legislation would cost $3.75 billion over five years, reduce dependence on foreign oil by more than 40 percent and decrease national energy consumption by 11 percent by 2030.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu commended Lugar’s efforts to reduce U.S. dependence on oil and increase energy efficiency while faulting the measure’s failure to incorporate carbon limits.

“We need comprehensive legislation that puts a price on carbon and makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy,” Chu said in a letter today to the senator.

The legislation would “fail to cut global warming emissions to the level scientists say is necessary to avoid the worst of consequences of climate change,” the Union of Concerned Scientists, an environmental advocacy group based in Cambridge, Mass., said in a statement.

The bill was called an “amnesty for big polluters” by Frank O’Donnell, president of the Washington, D.C.-based environmental group Clean Air Watch. He said the measure would let utilities avoid certain requirements of the Clean Air Act.

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. Can your dog sign a marriage license or personally state that he wishes to join you in a legal union? If not then no, you cannot marry him. When you teach him to read, write, and speak a discernible language, then maybe you'll have a reasonable argument. Thanks for playing!

  2. Look no further than Mike Rowe, the former host of dirty jobs, who was also a classically trained singer.

  3. Current law states income taxes are paid to the county of residence not county of income source. The most likely scenario would be some alteration of the income tax distribution formula so money earned in Marion co. would go to Marion Co by residents of other counties would partially be distributed to Marion co. as opposed to now where the entirety is held by the resident's county.

  4. This is more same-old, same-old from a new generation of non-progressive 'progressives and fear mongers. One only needs to look at the economic havoc being experienced in California to understand the effect of drought on economies and people's lives. The same mindset in California turned a blind eye to the growth of population and water needs in California, defeating proposal after proposal to build reservoirs, improve water storage and delivery infrastructure...and the price now being paid for putting the demands of a raucous minority ahead of the needs of many. Some people never, never learn..

  5. I wonder if I can marry him too? Considering we are both males, wouldn't that be a same sex marriage as well? If they don't honor it, I'll scream discrimination just like all these people have....

ADVERTISEMENT