Thursday, November 5, 2009

Senate panel approves Democratic climate bill

By Richard Cowan | Thu Nov 5, 2009 10:32am EST | Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A key U.S. Senate environment committee approved a Democratic climate change bill on Thursday that would require industry to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 20 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels.

The bill approved by the Environment and Public Works Committee will now become one of several initiatives in the Senate aimed at attacking global warming. But they are unlikely to produce legislation that would be voted on by the full Senate until next year at the earliest.

With Republicans boycotting the environment panel's measure, saying more analysis of the legislation was needed, 10 Democrats approved the bill and one Democrat, Senator Max Baucus, voted against it.

Senator John Kerry, who co-authored the bill with fellow Democrat Barbara Boxer, is leading an effort with some Republicans and the White House to draft a compromise.

Democrats in Congress, working on a major plank of President Barack Obama's agenda, have been anxious to show at least some progress on enacting a domestic climate change bill before December 7, when an international global warming summit convenes in Copenhagen.

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