Environmental

Marten Law: One Way or Another -- Senate Climate Change Bill Introduced; EPA Proposes to Regulate GHGs From Stationary Sources; and Court Allows GHG Nuisance Suit to Proceed

 
In this Emerging Issues analysis, Svend Brandt-Erichsen of the Martin Law Group discusses the Kerry-Boxer bill. This bill is the Senate version of a House bill that'll create a national greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade program. Svend examines what the bill contains and the departures it takes from the House bill. He writes:
 
"Now that all three branches of the government have put GHG trains in motion, the pressure for a legislative resolution will be increasing. Climate legislation supporters hope that senators who remain on the fence, faced with clearly visible alternatives of regulation or litigation, will warm to a national GHG cap-and-trade program."
 
"The 821-page climate change bill introduced on September 30, 2009, by Senators John Kerry and Barbara Boxer, Chairmen respectively of the Senate Foreign Relations and Environment Committees, stakes out positions on several key issues, such as the pace of emission reductions, who should receive free emission allowances, how emission offset credits should be administered, and how the federal cap-and-trade program relates to other federal Clean Air Act requirements and State air programs. But the bill's authors also have anticipated the negotiations that are ahead of them, remaining silent, for example, on the share of available emission allowances that would be apportioned to particular interests. This and other issues are likely to be at the center of Senate deliberations."
 
"In another departure from the House bill, Kerry-Boxer also would create an “Office of Offsets Integrity” at the Department of Justice. The bill emphasizes the office's role in civil enforcement of laws related to emission offsets. However, there are bound to be concerns that this signals an enforcement-oriented regulatory focus, since the Department of Justice is not known for emphasizing compliance assistance."
 
 
 
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