U.S. Senate ceases to pursue comprehensive climate change bill

July 27, 2010

Harry Reid, the U.S. Senate majority leader, announced on Thursday that the Senate Democrats would cease to pursue passing a comprehensive climate change bill.

Citing a lack of support from Republican Senators, Senator Reid stated that the majority would seek a more modest bill targeting offshore oil and gas drilling regulation, home energy-efficiency programs and incentives for natural gas vehicles.

The bill, planned for debate next week, also seeks to raise the $75 million liability cap for companies that are responsible for oil spills.

In June 2009, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill, which mandated the cap on greenhouse gas emissions from most sectors of the economy, and would establish a national carbon market.  

Over the last year, Senate Committees discussed reducing the scope of the cap-and-trade system to the utilities industry. However, with only 59 Senators supporting the legislation, Senate Democrats lacked the 60 Senators necessary to overcome procedural hurdles that they expected would be launched by Senate Republicans. 

Senator Reid discussed the possibility reviving cap-and-trade legislation in September, or after the November Senate elections.

DISCLAIMER: This publication is intended to convey general information about legal issues and developments as of the indicated date. It does not constitute legal advice and must not be treated or relied on as such. Please read our full disclaimer at www.stikeman.com/legal-notice.

Stay in Touch with Knowledge Hub