Domenici reverts to Byrd-Hagel

The Kyoto crowd crowed when the Senate, on June 22, 2005, voted 54-43 in favor of a Sense of the Senate resolution on climate change drafted by Sens. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) and Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.).

The critical language appears below:

(b) Sense of the Senate.—It is the sense of the Senate that Congress should enact a comprehensive and effective national program of mandatory, market-based limits and incentives on emissions of greenhouse gases that slow, stop, and reverse the growth of such emissions at a rate and in a manner that—

(1) will not significantly harm the United States economy; and

(2) will encourage comparable action by other nations that are major trading partners and key contributors to global emissions.

Note that the GHG reduction program only has to “encourage” comparable action by other major trading partners and emitters; there is no need to wait until emerging industrial giants like China and India actually take such action or agree to do so.

This was widely hailed by Kyotoites as a repudiation of the July 25, 1997 Byrd-Hagel resolution (S. Res. 98). In Byrd-Hagel, the Senate voted 95-0 that the United States should not be a party to any climate treaty, like the Kyoto Protocol, that does not require “new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period.”

According to Greenwire, however, Sen. Domenici now says he won’t support a regulatory climate program, “unless and until we have brought the Chinese on board, or the Indians, or there is absolute assurance they are coming on.” Welcome back to Byrd-Hagel land, Sen. Domenici!


Domenici Pledges to ‘Kill’ Warming Bill Absent China, India Accord
Darren Samuelsohn, E&E Daily senior reporter
Web link to full article (Subscription Required)

March 27, 2007
A key Senate Republican vowed yesterday to block global warming legislation if emerging industrial nations do not make similar commitments.
“My concerns are long enough that I would kill a bill if we haven’t taken some giant stride in the direction of getting China and/or India to join with this,” Sen. Pete Domenici (R-N.M.) said in an interview yesterday.
China’s emissions are on track to surpass the United States as early as this year, according to recent media reports, driving the Senate Energy Committee’s ranking member to express concern that a new U.S. program would do little to address climate change while simultaneously harming the domestic economy.
“It’s just grown on me in the past month, where I just can’t believe and will not support major legislation imposed upon the American economic system and jobs and everything else,” Domenici said. “I won’t support doing that .. unless and until we have brought the Chinese on board, or the Indians, or there is absolute assurance they are coming on.”…

In yesterday’s interview, Domenici cautioned that he was no closer to joining Bingaman, now the chairman of the Energy Committee.

“The more I go through all this, the further we get,” Domenici said.