Senate Climate Change

Senate hearings get underway in earnest today on climate change legislation, as Democrats try to find some momentum for what's known as the Cap and Trade bill.  It won't be easy.

Four Cabinet officials will be on hand today in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, as the chietains of the Energy, Interior & Transportation Departments appear alongside the head of the Environmental Protection Agency.

More than ready for action is chief sponsor, Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), who is forging ahead despite a lot of evidence that she is nowhere near getting 60 votes to break an all but certain filibuster.

The hearings come four days after Boxer released her climate change bill, which is based on what was approved by the House back in late June.

You can find the text of the bill on the web at

Boxer will in part argue today that her bill does not place an unfair burden on consumers as critics have charged.  Opponents say new pollution regulations and limits will mean much higher energy costs.

But the head of the EPA will certainly tout a newly released study, which says the Boxer bill will cost the average household 22 to 30 cents a day, between $80 and $111 per year.

(Just another issue where we have a "Battle Of The Studies" as each side will base their case on the studies that reflect their point of view.)

As for details of what's in the new Boxer bill, the plan does still contain a provision that would let cities and states slap stricter fuel economy standards on taxicabs (page 234).

There are grants for "support of air pollution control programs," national "energy efficiency building codes," a "worker transition" fund and much more.

Take a look at the bill for yourself.  Maybe you will find something juicy.