Climate Bill Will be Backed by Three Big Oil Companies

Climate Desk collaborator Mother Jones has uncovered new details about the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman climate bill, which will be formally unveiled on Monday. The big news is that the senatorial trio has scored the backing of three of the five major oil companies (which ones is not yet clear). In a conference call with progressive business leaders last night, Kerry said he believed the American Petroleum Institute would halt its ad campaign attacking the bill. Another key backer will be the Edison Electric Institute, the main lobbying group for utilities.

As for the bill itself, only a few new details emerged: it will not include a gas tax, instead issuing non-tradeable pollution permits to oil companies (this bit needs more explanation). Agriculture will not be subject to a cap on emissions. Pollution permits would adhere to a "hard price collar," or an upper and lower price limit.

Kerry also confirmed policy points that had already been leaked: the revocation of the EPA's power to regulate greenhouse gases, the elimination of ambitious state emissions reduction programs, a slew of loan guarantees for new nuclear reactors, and funding for clean coal technology. Offshore drilling remains a question mark.

Read Kate Sheppard's rundown here.  

Nicole Allan is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

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