One Piece of the Senate Puzzle

Yesterday morning, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed S. 1733 – The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.  The bill would create a strong cap-and-trade program with aggressive emission reductions targets through 2050. The bill now becomes one piece of a puzzle that will include the energy bill passed by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee earlier this year, contributions from as many as four other major Senate committees, and contributions from Senators acting outside the committee process.

The importance of the latter is suggested by the announcement Wednesday by Senators Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman that they will be working together to craft a climate bill that incorporates provisions of the EPW bill with other provisions in line with Kerry and Graham’s New York Times op-ed.

Pulling these disparate pieces together into a coherent whole and garnering the 60 votes necessary for passage of a bill through the Senate will surely require strong leadership in the legislative process by the Obama administration.

Michael Tubman is the Congressional Affairs Fellow