KINGSPORT — Public pushback responding to an activist federal government will probably move Senate action on cap-and-trade legislation into next year, U.S. Sen. Bob Corker says.
The sweeping climate change bill caps greenhouse gas emissions — from industrial facilities and electricity generators — beginning in 2012.
In turn, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would establish two regulatory initiatives known as cap-and-trade programs, one covering greenhouse gas emissions and one covering hydrofluorocarbons.
The EPA would issue allowances to emit those gases under the cap-and-trade programs.
Corker, the Tennessee Republican who has been outspoken about government oversight of the financial and auto industries, suggested action on the cap-and-trade bill might be done for the year.
The legislation passed by a seven-vote margin in the House.
“I think the one thing that is for sure ... the government takeovers of private companies, cap-and-trade coming out, and then this health care (reform) bill coming out has hit a nerve with the American people,” Corker said during a meeting with members of the Times-News Editorial Board. “It’s my belief (bill advocates) will not bring cap-and-trade up this year. ... I don’t think they want a bill that’s been defeated in the Senate or is so different from the House bill that they don’t know how that’s going to be reconciled.”
Corker indicated he had a negative conversation about the bill with Tennessee Valley Authority President and CEO Tom Kilgore.
“I said ‘Tom, have you looked at the (climate change) bill and what would that do to your rates?’ He said ‘When it kicks in, it will raise our rates 80 percent,’” Corker related. “Why would you draft a bill that takes money out of our economy?”