Proponents of the latest version of climate change legislation (S. 3036) failed to get the 60 votes necessary for passage in the U.S. Senate, effectively ending any further consideration this year. Supporters plan to make it an election-year issue to lay the groundwork for a new climate debate in 2009. There is a growing consensus in Congress that there is a need to limit and reduce greenhouse gases (GHG).
Many more Senators now express support for U.S. action on global warming, and the Supreme Court recently ruled that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is authorized and directed to consider regulating carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas.
S. 3036 would have required the EPA to establish a greenhouse gas registry and directly regulate GHG emissions from certain large source facilities. The legislation sought to achieve a near-70% reduction in GHG emissions from current levels by 2050 and establish a $6.7 trillion economy-wide emissions trading program. Opponents of the bill argued that the "cap and trade system" as proposed in the bill would seriously impede economic growth, raise energy costs and cause job losses.
Some opponents to the bill expressed general support for climate-change legislation, but believed further study and discussion were required. SEMA supports a national solution to CO2 emissions control rather than a potential patchwork of state rules. A patchwork of state rules would significantly increase the complexity and cost of compliance for the industry.
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