Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Midwest Electric Utilities Push Senate Climate Bill Co-Authors for More Allocations

Midwest Electric Utilities Push Senate Climate Bill Co-Authors for More Allocations; New York Times

A group of 14 Midwestern electric utilities continued its push today for a different direction on global warming legislation, asking (pdf) the Senate's lead climate negotiators to get a full economic study on their bill for businesses and consumers in coal-dependent states.

The Midwest Climate Coalition -- an ad hoc group that includes MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., Wisconsin Energy Corp. and Alliant Energy Corp. -- requested the comprehensive economic report from all federal agencies that looks into the costs over the next 20 years from the legislation still being crafted by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

"We want to make sure the Senate does its due diligence before they write the bill," said Zach Hill, a senior manager for federal affairs at Alliant, a Madison, Wis.-based company that serves about 1 million customers in Wisconsin, Iowa and southern Minnesota.

The Midwest Climate Coalition formed in 2008 in response to an internal agreement forged by the Edison Electric Institute on how investor-owned power companies would prefer a global warming bill distribute valuable emission allowances. ...

MCC companies have since won support from 14 Senate Democrats who wrote Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) last November indicating their vote on the climate bill hinges in part on this issue (E&ENews PM, Nov. 12, 2009). Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), a member of that group, met with Kerry on Friday to discuss the legislation, including allocations.

In their letter, the MCC companies suggested that Kerry, Graham and Lieberman obtain more information about how their bill would affect Midwestern electricity rates and reliability, regional and international competitiveness, unemployment and household income rates and the effect on regional jobs if developing countries like China and India don't adopt their own comparable emission cuts.

: We are told one day that the cap and trade or the climate bill is dead, yet everyday there is something in the news that discusses the progress and negotiation of the bill. Folks, make no mistake about it, the Washington elites intend to subject this nation to "carbon taxation" and in the process turning over our sovereignty to an international body. This isn't fiction, this is fact.

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