Corporations ask feds to set emissions limits

 

Last month, executives from six of the country’s largest energy companies made a startling request to federal lawmakers: Set mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions.

At an April 4 climate conference held by New Mexico Sens. Pete Domenici, R, and Jeff Bingaman, D, the leaders of Shell, General Electric and others said they would prefer uniform federal regulation to a patchwork of emissions rules like those proposed by California and eight New England states (HCN, 3/6/06: States tighten rules, challenge feds to follow). Federal regulation would not pre-empt those plans, which are so far stricter than any congressional proposal. But the corporations hope that other states would follow the feds’ lead instead of acting on their own.

The corporations’ new tone could press federal lawmakers into action, says David Doniger, policy director for the Natural Resource Defense Council’s Climate Center: "This will be looked back on as a watershed moment."

Yet even representatives who support climate legislation still don’t agree on how strict the emissions caps should be, says Marnie Funk, Republican spokeswoman for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. She cites the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act, which has languished in Congress for three years.

That legislation includes a "cap and trade" program for greenhouse gases. Sens. Domenici and Bingaman plan to include a similar program in a new climate bill, but neither wants to introduce the bill within the next year, fearing that it, too, will be shot down.

Late last year, a National Academy of Sciences report predicted that impacts to the economy and environment will be more costly the longer emissions go unchecked.

High Country News Classifieds
  • GENERAL MANAGER
    The Board of UYWCD seeks a new GM to manage operations & to implement our robust strategic plan. Details at www.upperyampawater.com. EOE
  • IN TUCSON, FOR SALE: A BEAUTIFUL, CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME
    designed by architect David Swanson in 1966. Located a block from Saguaro National Forest, yet minutes to Downtown and the UofA campus, 3706 sqft, 6...
  • EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
    The Friends of the San Juans is seeking a new leader guide our efforts to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish...
  • 80 ACRES
    straddles North Platte Fishery, Wyoming. Legal access 2 miles off 1-80. Call 720-440-7633.
  • DIRECTOR OF PRODUCT AND MARKETING
    High Country News seeks a Director of Product and Marketing to join our senior team during an exciting chapter of innovation and growth. This individual...
  • OWN A THRIVING MOUNTAIN GUIDE SERVICE.
    Eastern Sierra guide service for sale to person with vision & expertise to take it onwards. Since 1995 with USFS & NPS permits. Ideal for...
  • IMPROVED LOT
    Private road, hillside, views. Well, pad, septic, 99 sq.ft. hut. Dryland permaculture orchard. Wildlife. San Diego--long growing season
  • UNIQUE INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY
    Profitable off-the-grid business located 2 miles from Glacier National Park. Owner has 6 years operating experience. Seeking investor or partner for business expansion and enhancement....
  • REMOTE SITKA ALASKA FLOAT HOUSE VACATION RENTAL
    Vacation rental located in calm protected waters 8 miles from Sitka, AK via boat with opportunities to fish and view wildlife. Skiff rental also available.
  • EXPERT LAND STEWART
    Available for site conservator, property manager. View resume at http://skills.ojadigital.net.
  • CONSERVATIONIST? IRRIGABLE LAND?
    Stellar seed-saving NGO is available to serious partner. Package must include financial support. Details: http://seeds.ojaidigital.net.
  • CANYONLANDS FIELD INSTITUTE
    Colorado Plateau Natural & Human History Field Seminars. Lodge, river, hiking options. Small groups, guest experts.
  • WESTERN NATIVE SEED
    Specializing in native seeds and seed mixes for western states.
  • CHUCK BURR'S CULTUREQUAKE.COM BLOG
    Change will happen when we see a new way of living. Thinking to save the world.
  • COMING TO TUCSON?
    Popular vacation house, furnished, 2 bed/1 bath, yard, dog-friendly. Lee at [email protected] or 520-791-9246.
  • OJO CALIENTE COMMERCIAL VENTURE
    Outstanding location near the world famous Ojo Caliente Mineral Spring Resort. Classic adobe Mercantile complete w/living quarters, separate 6 unit B&B, metal building and spacious...