Environmental & Natural Resources

Quick Guide to Climate Bills

There are a few different climate bills in the House and the Senate, which can be confusing. So, here is a quick overview. The Waxman-Markey Bill is officially called the American Clean Energy and Security Act 2009 (H.R. 2454) and was originated in the House of Representatives. To read the actual bill go here.

In the Senate is the bill put forward by Senators Boxer and Kerry (S. 1733) that is officially described as “A bill to create clean energy jobs, promote energy independence, reduce global warming pollution, and transition to a clean energy economy”. The full text and related documents can be found here.

The EPA has released an economic analysis of the Boxer-Kerry Senate Bill, which provides comparisons to the House bill. Other reviews can be found from both left, right and center leaning sources that come to predictably different conclusions. See NPR and The New Republic,The Heritage Foundation, the American Farm Bureau, the National Farmers Union, to name a few.

No matter the political perspective the general consensus is that the Senate Bill is similar in structure to the House Bill but is a bit more stringent in reducing emissions. Assessing the effect of either of these on Washington agriculture is more difficult than most states given the enormous diversity of crop types in the state. We will be providing analysis of how different types of producers may be affected in coming weeks as the bills continue to be debated in the Congress.

United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

Links

Planning future in and out of stream demands on the Columbia River

Through the Columbia River Basin Water Management Group the Washington Department of Ecology is exploring how to develop future water supplies for in-stream and out of stream uses. Go here to find out more. Details on meetings of the Columbia River Policy Advisory Group that are open to the public can be found here. .

Washington State University