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Senator John McCain’s New Climate Bill


By: Alex Lopatka, Silver Spring MD

During the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election last year, Senator John McCain (R-Az.) was adamant about developing a comprehensive plan to tackle climate change. McCain has developed a new plan since his campaign: a bill that will compete with the current Waxman-Markey and CEJAPA bills.McCain’s current climate change bill, known as the McCain-Lieberman Climate Stewardship Act (MLCSA), differs from the current climate legislation in a few ways.

1. The bill will initially give away all of the emissions permits to businesses.

2. There is an option of offsetting 15% of a company’s emissions through obtaining another country’s emissions permits, or borrowing against future emissions permits.

3. The baseline year would be 2000.

John McCain and Joe Lieberman submitted an earlier version of their bill in 2003 which failed to pass. Both senators are experienced in climate legislation and with the the way Washington works. The Waxman-Markey bill and CEJAPA (by Senators Kerry and Boxer) are both being debated in the Senate now. Adding the McCain-Lieberman bill to the mix will only further confuse politicians and the public and slow down the political process.

Senators McCain and Lieberman should work closely with Senators Kerry and Boxer to develop a bipartisan bill that can please both sides. Rather than drafting a completley new bill, all four can work together and develop climate legislation that will force the U.S. to reduce its emissions. A climate bill with strong bipartisan support will more easily pass Congress and will surely convince the world that the U.S. is making the appropriate steps to reduce its emissions.

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