Senators Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and John Kerry, D-Mass., hope the global warming legislation they release Wednesday will be a starting point in a bid to win over moderate and conservative Democrats, as well as Republicans. They also hope their bill will be a vehicle for broader Senate negotiations and an eventual conference with the House.
"I have no pretensions, and neither does Barbara, that this will be the final product," said Kerry, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. "It is a starting point, a commitment, full-fledged, across party lines to do what we need to do to protect the planet for the next century."
The Boxer-Kerry bill will build off of H.R. 2454, legislation approved in June by the House. Exactly what is the same remains to be seen. As for differences, Senate Democratic aides say they expect the legislation to divert from the House bill's 17% emissions target for 2020 and go with an even more aggressive 20% limit. The bill will stay silent on how the Senate should divide up emission allowances but it will set a basement and ceiling price for carbon.