Wednesday, February 02, 2005
Props to Lincoln Chafee / Test to See If I Can Post Free Links to the Wall Street Journal
If you click here does it take you to an article at the Wall Street Journal about the "Clear Skies" bill? Please post a comment to let me know whether the link works. In case it doesn't here is the article:
Unusual Maneuver May Break
Deadlock on 'Clear Skies' Bill
By JOHN J. FIALKA
Staff Reporter of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
February 2, 2005; Page B2
Facing a 9-9 deadlock in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Republicans are threatening a legislative maneuver that will take President Bush's "Clear Skies" proposal directly to the Senate floor where they claim to have the votes to pass it.
The bill, which would cut power-plant emissions of sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and mercury by as much as 70% over the next 13 years, is opposed by Democrats. They want to further tighten limits and add regulation of carbon-dioxide emissions.
The deadlock has been caused by Sen. Lincoln D. Chafee (R., R.I.), who has said he will vote with the panel's eight Democrats to add carbon dioxide to the bill. A tie vote would mean the panel couldn't report the measure to the floor.
As a "last resort" to break the deadlock, Chairman James M. Inhofe will use a Senate procedure called Rule 14 to remove the bill from the panel and complete it on the Senate floor, said Andrew Wheeler, majority staff director for the committee.
Stephen Hourahan, a spokesman for Sen. Chafee, said the senator prefers to keep the debate within the committee and is "working to convince other Republican members to support him."
Three years ago, Senate Democrats used Rule 14 to move an energy bill to the Senate floor. The resulting debate on the complex measure lasted for weeks before the bill finally died.
Environmental groups oppose the Clear Skies legislation, but James L. Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, said utilities, unions and many county and state officials support it because it will help many communities meet pending air regulations. He said it will also generate a $50 billion market for new equipment to control air pollution, and jobs to manufacture and install it.
Check out the official picture of Lincoln Chafee at his .gov web site. It's a little small but you can make out the gist of what he looks like.