A group of 14 Senators has sent a letter to Senate leaders asking that any climate and energy legislation that comes out of Congress does not unfairly or disproportionately raise electricity costs in certain regions of the country. The bills currently under consideration would result in certain utilities – particularly those that are coal dependent – purchasing more emissions allowances than others, and those higher costs will be passed on to their customers.
The letter, which was sent to Senators Hary Reid, D-Nev., Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., Baucus, D-Mont., and John Kerry, D-Mass., asks that the clean energy bill base the allocation of greenhouse gas emission allowances solely on historical emissions, rather than using the formula in the current Kerry-Boxer bill in which allowances would be provided based only 50% on emissions and 50% on sales. It is felt, a substantial share of the emission allowances would be granted to some utilities in amounts exceeding their real need, while others would be forced to raise electricity rates for consumers.
The letter was signed by Senators Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, Al Franken, D-Minn., Roland Burris, D-Ill., Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., Herb Kohl, D-Wisc., Russell Feingold, D-Wisc., Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Michael Bennet, D-Colo., Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Mark Udall, D-Colo., Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., Cark Levin, D-Mich., Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio.