We're not even done with health care, and the next fight is being cued up. From the NY Times:
A draft of a climate bill that Senate Democrats will formally introduce on Wednesday suggests that the legislation will include a more ambitious greenhouse gas emissions target than one passed by the House.
The measure, sponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer of California and John Kerry of Massachusetts, seeks to achieve by 2020 a 20 percent reduction from 2005 levels of carbon dioxide emissions, compared with 17 percent in the House bill, according to the 801-page draft, which circulated on Tuesday. The House and Senate bills both include a long-term target of an 83 percent reduction by 2050.
The Senate bill will be the focus of a broad political and lobbying struggle, as industry groups, environmental lobbies, local government officials, universities and advocates for the poor all scramble for advantage in legislation that would rewrite the rules of the domestic energy economy. Groups are already spending millions of dollars in organizing, mailing and advertising campaigns to influence the legislation.
The battle has exposed deep rifts within the Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and other business lobbies, with companies leaving their trade organizations almost daily in disputes over climate change legislation. The Chamber of Commerce opposed the House bill and will almost certainly work to weaken or defeat the Boxer-Kerry measure. [See Another Big Business Quits US Chamber Over Its Climate Change Policies]
The Senate debate will also significantly affect the American negotiating position at climate talks, sponsored by the United Nations, that are scheduled for December in Copenhagen.
The bill would set up a cap-and-trade system to achieve the emissions targets, allowing industry and other entities to buy and sell permits within an overall emissions ceiling. The House bill, which narrowly passed in late June, would establish a similar program.
But the Senate measure so far leaves a number of crucial questions unanswered, chief among them how the permits to emit carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases would be distributed to utilities, manufacturers, agribusiness and other interests. The allocation of such permits, worth billions of dollars annually, was a subject of intense horse-trading in the House and is certain to touch off a major battle as the Senate debates its own version of the bill.