Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Capitalist Pig Bob Thinks Climate Change is Open to Great Debate, Yet Donkeys See Enormous Dollar Signs by Mandating State Laws; Sick & Twisted~

WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--Obama administration officials on Wednesday called for passage of a law to combat climate change, but offered few details about whether Congress should give any special breaks to industries that fear they would be disproportionately affected. U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood - testifying on Earth Day - said that Congress must act now. But the officials provided few details about the degree to which President Obama is willing to show flexibility on a stated goal of requiring companies to buy 100% of the permits they must hold in order to pollute. Utilities and other companies want at least some permits for free. "We'll find out where the votes are and whether that ought to be part of the package," said Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., at a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Wednesday. The issue is the major political flashpoint in the efforts of Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., to drive a climate-change bill through his committee by the end of May. It is also one of the main political bargaining tools, since lawmakers who might be reluctant to support the bill could change their minds if constituents receive a certain number of free allowances - which could be worth a lot of money to companies. On Wednesday, executives from DuPont Co. (DD), ConocoPhillips (COP), Duke Energy Corp. (DUK), Alcoa Inc. (AA) and NRG Energy Inc. (NRG) said they wouldn't support the legislation unless allowances were handed out free in the early years of the cap-and-trade program. Under the bill proposed by Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif. and Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., emissions of gases including carbon dioxide would decline by more than 80% from 2005 levels by 2050, with a goal of cutting emissions 20% by 2020. On Tuesday, the EPA offered a rosy assessment of the legislation, saying that the measure would have "a modest" impact on consumers if the bulk of revenue generated under the cap-and-trade program were returned to households. The Obama administration also faced questions about the feasibility of a measure in the bill to require utilities to generate as much as 25% of power by 2025 from renewable sources of energy. "Although it might seem like an ambitious goal, I think with the proper incentives we can get there," Energy Secretary Chu testified. Duke Chief Executive Jim Rogers, testifying later, opposed the plan, saying it would make it harder on regions less rich in wind or solar power. Democrats such as Rep. Mike Ross, D-Ark., also sounded wary. "I come from a state that's not a wind state," Ross said. "Our options for renewable energy are limited." -By Siobhan Hughes, Dow Jones Newswires; 202-862-6654; Click here to go to Dow Jones NewsPlus, a web front page of today's most important business and market news, analysis and commentary: You can use this link on the day this article is published and the following day. (END) Dow Jones Newswires April 22, 2009 18:01 ET (22:01 GMT) Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.- - 06 01 PM EDT 04-22-09

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