Joseph Stanko, Hunton & Williams, LLP
The new Democrat House Energy & Commerce Committee leadership, introduced a comprehensive climate change legislation in the Spring of 2009. The Waxman-Markey bill certainly was far-reaching, covering nearly every sector of the economy. Its release triggered a firestorm of activity, and after concessions and compromises, the bill narrowly passed the House in late June 2009. After a summer of negative “town hall meeting” reaction and a stalled Senate Environment Committee process, Senators Kerry, Lindsey Graham, and Joseph Lieberman attempted to cobble together a politically more palatable proposal. But when Senator Graham backed out of the process consensus faltered, leaving Senators Kerry and Lieberman to press on alone without success. Subsequent “utility-only” bills failed to break the gridlock, forcing Senate Leadership to abandon additional attempts to put a price on carbon through legislative means. This presentation will review the current Congressional state-of-play and the prospects for climate change legislation in 2011, as well as Congressional efforts to limit EPA regulation of greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. To be presented in the US Climate Change Legislation Session of EUEC 2011, Feb 1-2, Phoenix, Arizona.