The Week in Congress

by William Yeatman on October 26, 2007

Last week I wrote about the Climate Security Act being introduced by Senators Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and John Warner (R-Va.). The bill's number is S. 2191. Their cap-and-trade bill had a hearing on Wednesday, October 24 before Lieberman's subcommittee of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, which has jurisdiction over global warming. Senator Max Baucus (D-Mont.) made it clear he will vote for it. Baucus, who tries to appear moderate but usually votes left, has until now tried to be careful on the issue because his State relies heavily on coal-fired power plants. His support almost certainly means that the Lieberman-Warner bill has enough votes to get out of committee. However, Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), the committee's ranking Republican and the Congress's leading opponent of global warming alarmism, has vowed to fight it, and Inhofe is determined and able. He has already forced Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) to drop her plan to mark up the bill next week. Boxer has now agreed to hold several hearings on the bill before the committee votes on it.


Two weeks ago I wrote about looming Senate ratification of the Law of the Sea Treaty, which would be a backdoor way of forcing the United States to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions.  Opposition from conservative leaders and grassroots is starting to make a difference. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday announced his opposition. This comes after McConnell heard (thanks to the leadership of Paul Weyrich) that the conservative movement is unequivocally opposed. The Senate may still ratify LOST, but it will be much harder now that McConnell and the entire Republican leadership are opposed.


Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is trying to appoint conferees to reconcile the Senate (H. R. 6) and House (H. R. 3221) anti-energy bills, but that requires unanimous consent in the Senate. As I write this, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Tex.) is holding out.

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