New Climate Change Bill Will Not Include RES, Carbon Caps

Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., plans to introduce an energy bill next week that deals with offshore oil drilling, but broad climate change legislation will not be considered in the Senate until at least September, Reuters reports.

The bill will not include a renewable electricity standard (RES) or a cap on carbon emissions because of Republican opposition. Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., issued the following statement after a meeting of the Democratic caucus:

‘Senator [Joseph] Lieberman and I will continue to work with our colleagues and the stakeholders in order to carve a path to 60 votes for comprehensive legislation that appropriately targets, in an appropriate way, carbon, so that we can send signals to the marketplace and change the direction and create jobs for America and improve our security,’ said Kerry. ‘The work we've done over the last year and a half will remain a foundation for all of this effort.’

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) expressed disappointment in the Senate's failure to reach a consensus on climate change legislation.

‘A bipartisan bill with a national renewable electricity standard (RES) passed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee over a year ago,’ said Denise Bode, CEO of AWEA. ‘It is beyond comprehension that we are now hearing that the bill may never be brought to the Senate floor.’

About 700 MW of wind power were added in the second quarter of this year, and wind power installations to date this year have dropped by 54% and 69% from 2008 and 2009 levels, respectively, according to AWEA, adding that not passing an RES endangers at least 360,000 jobs: 85,000 currently employed in the wind industry and the potential 274,000 additional jobs created by an RES.

SOURCES: Reuters, Office of Sen. John Kerry, American Wind Energy Association

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