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The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

Bingaman’s Utility-Only Bill

TWI has obtained a copy of a discussion draft authored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), with input from Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) office, that was

Elisa Mueller
Last updated: Jul 31, 2020 | Jul 13, 2010

TWI has obtained a copy of a “discussion draft” authored by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), with input from Sen. Olympia Snowe’s (R-Maine) office, that was circulated among industry stakeholders in recent months.

The bill, which was sent to TWI by a well-connected industry lobbyist, would require that the power sector reduce its emissions 3 percent below 2005 levels by 2012, 17 percent by 2020 and 42 percent by 2030, according to a PowerPoint presentation laying out an analysis of the bill. The full text of the draft bill is below.

The source that provided the discussion draft stresses that the bill is no longer in play and adds that other versions of the bill may exist. Many in the electric industry were critical of the draft’s allocation scheme when it was circulated among stakeholders, the source says. The draft would allocate 50 percent of allowances to the electric sector in 2012, a percentage that would decline by 5 percent each year, moving to zero allocations in 2022.

Bill Wicker, a spokesperson for Bingaman, confirms that the draft is authentic, noting that a trade publication, EnergyGuardian, posted it late last night. Wicker says the draft has likely changed since it was first distributed.

Bingaman has said for weeks that he is working on utility-only legislation, but would not introduce a bill until it had the requisite 60 votes required for passage. But prospects for a utility-only bill remain dim and sources on and off the Hill say Bingaman will likely focus on his energy bill, rather than wading into the debate over a carbon price.

Here’s the discussion draft:

Update: After this post was published, Bingaman’s office confirmed to me that Snowe’s staff collaborated on the draft bill. The post has been updated to include this information.

Elisa Mueller | Elisa Mueller was born in Kansas City, Missouri, to a mother who taught reading and a father who taught film. As a result, she spent an excessive amount of her childhood reading books and watching movies. She went to the University of Kansas for college, where she earned bachelor's degrees in English and journalism. She moved to New York City and worked for Entertainment Weekly magazine for ten years, visiting film sets all over the world.


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