Grassley: No Climate Bill Without International Treaty
The Iowa Independent reports that earlier this week, Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.), the co-sponsors of a sweeping climate bill that Boxer hopes to mark up in committee next week. In the letter, Grassley trots out a lot of the usual GOP talking points and calls on his colleagues to forgo a cap-and-trade system — which he calls a “national energy tax” – to reduce carbon emissions. That’s not that interesting, but this part of the letter is:
As you know, the global warming legislation moving forward in the Senate will have far reaching economic impacts for all Americans.** I question the wisdom of any unilateral U.S. legislation outside of a fair and equitable international agreement** given the acknowledgement by EPA Administrator Jackson and other experts that this would have little or no environmental benefit. [Emphasis added.]
This isn’t the first time Grassley has called for a halt to domestic climate bill negotiations without an international pact. But it’s worth noting that the last time there was a broad international climate agreement — the Kyoto Protocol, which the Clinton administration had a hand in negotiating — it received exactly zero votes in the Senate, which requires a two-thirds supermajority to ratify a treaty. Whatever the flaws of the Kyoto treaty, the vast majority of Republicans are certain to oppose any new agreement that comes out of international talks in Copenhagen next month, and it’s not hard to see what Grassley’s strategy is here.