Quick Hit Adam Doster Tuesday June 8th, 2010, 11:52am

How The Senate Climate Bill Could Increase Illinois' Oil Dependence

Despite the recent catastrophic environmental disaster resulting from America's addiction to fossil fuels, U.S. Senate Democrats can't seem to get their act together on comprehensive climate legislation. Caucus leaders will meet with relevant committee chairs later this week to devise a potential floor plan for the bill Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) introduced last month, one that enviros cautiously endorsed. But Politico is reporting that some consensus may be building behind a weaker "energy-only bill" that avoids any effor to price carbon emissions.

Hanging over the proceedings, however, is an ominous "resolution of disapproval" authored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), which would effectively strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its authority to regulate carbon under the Clean Air Act. (Learn more about the underlying issue of "preemption" here.) While Murkowski's measure likely wouldn't survive a presidential veto, it could nonetheless serve as a bellweather for the political will in the Senate to implement strict environmental protections. And make no mistake about it: the proposal is pretty radical. Next year, the EPA will begin regulating greenhouse gases from automobiles and some industrial facilities. If the resolution passes, Environment Illinois estimates that the state's dependence on oil would increase by more than 17 million gallons in 2016, costing residents $44 million at the pump.

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