The US Chamber of Commerce , aleading critic of a mandatory cap on carbon emissions, told leaders ofa key US Senate committee on Tuesday that it could support alegislative response to climate change under certain circumstances,according to Platts news service.
In a letter to Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer and top panel Republican James Inhofe, chamber Vice President for Government Affairs Bruce Jostensaid the business group are open to supporting legislation to theextent it couples “the positive aspects of S. 1733, the Clean EnergyJobs and Power Act,” with provisions laid out last month by SenatorsJohn Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Lindsey Graham, a SouthCarolina Republican.
Kerry and Graham proposed linking cap-and-trade to new incentivesfor the nuclear energy industry and expanded offshore oil and naturalgas drilling.
“This really is a game-changer, and I’m very pleased to report thisbecause right now, we need to work together,” Sen. Boxer said about theChamber’s letter, which she said she hopes would convince herRepublican colleagues to change their position on current Senateclimate legislation. The chamber’s letter was not an explicitendorsement of the bill, or of cap-and-trade in general. In it, Jostensaid the chamber would “continue to oppose bad policies that resemblethe failed climate proposals of the past, such as bills that jeopardizeAmerican jobs, create trade inequalities, leave open the Clean Air Act,open the door to CO2-based mass tort litigation, and further hamper thepermitting process for clean energy.”
The most recent version of the bill, written by Kerry and Boxer,would permit the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate GHGs underthe Clean Air Act. It also would seek to head off litigation byemitters over EPA’s proposed “tailoring” rule, which would exempt fromregulation smaller emitters of gases linked to climate change.