Although we had earlier predicted that comprehensive climate legislation could reach a floor vote in the Senate as early as October, that deadline is likely to move to November or later. As reported by BNA this morning, the lead democratic authors of the bill, Senators Boxer and Kerry, announced yesterday that they need more time to craft the Senate bill and will put off introduction until the end of September.
The plan had been to introduce the bill on September 8th, when the Senate returns from its month-long August recess. The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, of which Senator Boxer is the chair, would begin mark ups as soon as a week afterward.
Introducing the bill in late September means that the six committees with jurisdiction over the Senate climate legislation — Agriculture, Commerce, Energy & Natural Resources, Environment & Public Works, Finance, and Foreign Relations — will not begin markups on the bill until late October.
One driver of the timing of the bill is the UN climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, which begins December 7. As Greenwire reported, during the August recess, a number of Senators have been speaking out about the climate bill, what they hope to see in it, who is likely to support the bill or oppose it, and how likely meeting the UN climate summit deadline will be. It will be interesting to see how this delay affects that strategy.