By a vote of 92–1, with 7 not voting, the Senate approved Senator Voinovich’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act as an amendment to the Energy Bill. The bill provides $1 billion over five years to support the reduction of emissions from existing diesel engines through retrofits and other programs. (Earlier post.)
The Senate also approved by a smaller 66–29, 5 not voting, margin an amendment submitted by Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska that would use tax credits to encourage a voluntary emissions reduction program, but that would set no cap on GHG emissions.
The amendment faced both bipartisan support and opposition. A record of the votes is here. Senators McCain and Lieberman (who voted against the Hagel amendment) also submitted their version of a climate change bill for consideration by the Senate.
The McCain-Lieberman amendment, by contrast, sets a cap, requiring achievement of 2000 levels of emissions by 2012, and sets up a system of emissions credit trading to provide a market incentive for new and cleaner technologies.
“You’ve got to have an immediate effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” McCain said, adding that any climate change plan that doesn’t do that is “a fig leaf” and “a joke.” (Reuters)
In the third vote of the day, the Senate rejected 44–52, 4 not voting, an amendment submitted by Senator Nelson (D-FL) that would have struck a provision providing for a comprehensive inventory of Outer Continental Shelf oil and natural gas resources form the bill. In other words, the Senate voted to continue the inventory, a precursor to the potential opening of outer shelf drilling.
The Senate also began considering the package of tax policies incentives associated with the Energy Bill.