Skip to content

Boucher Counsels Senators on Climate Change

Climate change legislation may be stalled in the Senate, but that isn’t stopping Democrats and Republicans from tapping an unusual resource, Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.), for advice on how to move forward.Boucher, a key player in House negotiations on climate change, said Thursday that more than 30 Senators from both parties contact him “pretty much on an hoc basis— to help them craft a bill that can pass the Senate.“I’m very engaged with interested Members in the Senate,— Boucher said. “They’re calling me.—Climate change legislation has slowed in the Senate as Democrats slog through health care reform. Further complicating matters is that six Senate panels share responsibility for climate change, and chairmen are wrestling over who should play the most influential role.Boucher, who hails from coal-rich Southwest Virginia, played an important role in advancing the House’s controversial cap-and-trade plan, which narrowly passed in June. He originally opposed the bill but ultimately helped to rally support for it after his concerns were addressed relating to utility costs.Boucher said he spoke with Senators as recently as last week about how they can craft a climate change package that appeases both business and environmental groups. He declined to name names, but he said most Senators who have reached out to him are moderates and Members from coal-producing states.Previously, the Virginia Democrat has cited meetings with Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bob Casey (D-Pa.). He said issues discussed typically include the affordability of electricity rates and how to protect U.S. jobs given that developing countries have different standards for carbon dioxide emissions. Costs are also addressed.Boucher wouldn’t speculate on whether the Senate will punt on the issue until next year — something that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) hinted at last week.“I think it’s too soon to know,— Boucher said. “I’m not aware of any decisions. But the year is beginning to near an end.—

Recent Stories

Should doctors in Congress earn money for their side job?

Supreme Court dodges definitive answer on legality of a ‘wealth tax’

Senate Finance Democrats look to raise revenue for 2025 tax cliff

Capitol Lens | Juneteenth on the Maryland campaign trail

At the Races: Trumping incumbency

Trump, Biden propel migrants to forefront of ‘contentious’ race