The Boxer-Kerry Bill

Now that health care has been solved once and forever, the august members of the U.S. Senate have turned their attention to saving the world.

OK, snarkiness aside, the Boxer- Kerry Bill was released today as an alternative to the Waxman-Markey climate change bill that made it through the house early this summer. The headline numbers: 20 percent reductions from 2005 levels by 2020 in Boxer – Kerry instead of 17 percent by 2020 in Waxman-Markey.

The bill summary is here (be sure to pack a lunch if you plan on reading the whole 800-page bill.)

Environmental Capital notes that Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and President Obama have both emphasized jobs as a key to the bill. The New York Times’ Green, Inc., also points out the words “climate change” and “global warming” do not appear in the bill’s official title, the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.” Saving the Earth is a tough sell in Congress, apparently.

Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., launches a salvo against the legislation here. The most interesting question, which we promise to explore at length:

Senator Boxer, because this is a global issue, how does your draft ensure that other developing countries, such as China and India, will make binding emissions cuts that are as strict as those that are required for the United States under this Act?

With so much attention focused on health care reform, it might seem a strange time to take up climate change again.

Actually, we think it’s the ideal time to get a bill passed, since most opponents of big government programs are already consumed with the “clear and present danger” to health care. It’s tough to imagine that Inhofe will be able to muster a strong opposition to this bill, especially with powerful interests like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce being battered by members for its climate change position.

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