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US Senator Lieberman: Power-Plant Climate Change Bill Would Be First Step January 30, 2007

Posted by notapundit in Congress, Politics, US News.
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WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)–U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., on Tuesday said he believes Congress this year can adopt legislation to address global warming and that a solid first step could be to adopt a bill that would focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

“That would be a welcome first step,” Lieberman said of a power plant-focused climate change proposal.

There has been some concern that even if Congress meets the difficult task of passing legislation to address global warming, President George W. Bush might refuse to sign it into law.

The president has opposed proposals that would cap emissions of carbon dioxide, widely seen as a global-warming culprit.

Still, speaking to reporters after a Senate Environment and Public Works Committee climate change hearing, Lieberman expressed optimism that Congress could approve legislation that would solely reduce emissions from power plants and that the president would sign the electricity-sector-focused bill.

Lieberman is, meanwhile, sponsoring a bill with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.,that would reduce emissions in various sectors including the transportation, industrial and power sectors.

But he had good things to say about efforts by Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., to draft a climate change bill that would solely focus on reducing emissions in the electric utility sector.

Carper and Alexander plan to introduce the bill next week. The senators say the bill, the Clean Air Planning Act, would affect about 40% of the carbon dioxide produced in the U.S.

Carper, at the hearing, also touted the bill as a first step for addressing global warming. He said he views an economy-wide cap-and-trade program as the “freeway” for addressing climate change. But “there needs to be an on-ramp onto that freeway.”

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., has introduced legislation that also aims to reduce emissions in the utilities sector.

By Maya Jackson Randall, Dow Jones Newswires

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