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Senators Deliver Coal Wish-Lists to Committee Chairs

Late last week, a group of eight senators delivered lists of proposed measures to protect and promote coal in the pending climate and energy legislation to the committee chairs charged with authoring the bill. The group calls for more funding to promote the development and deployment of carbon-capture-and-storage (CCS) technology and more bonus allocations to be included in the measure than were in the bill that passed the House in June.

Most members of the group are Democrats from coal-producing states, such as Robert Byrd (W.Va.), Max Baucus (Mont.), Mark Warner (Va.), Arlen Specter (Pa.) and Bob Casey (Pa.). Tom Carper (D-Del.), who established the working group, also signed on, as did Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

Their suggestions include the creation of a $10 billion program to spur the development of CCS technology. They also ask that coal mines and landfill methane projects be exempted from new greenhouse gas emission standards, and instead allow for those capture projects to be included among the types of domestic offsets available.

“We believe our nation needs all sources of energy — including coal — to meet our future demands,” they wrote in their letter to Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). “We also know that other countries, such as China and India, depend heavily on coal as an energy resource. Therefore, widespread, commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture and sequestration technology for coal will be critical if we are to meet our national and global climate goals.”

The group, minus Baucus, sent a similar letter and list of suggestions to the Senate Finance Committee, which he chairs. The EPW Committee, under Boxer’s leadership, is taking the lead on authoring a comprehensive cap-and-trade bill, but Finance will likely take a key role in authoring the allocation and offset portions of a a bill. Via E&E, see their requests for EPW here (PDF) and for Finance here (PDF).

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