State officials warn Senate not to block their efforts to lower greenhouse gases

Industry lobbyists say having to comply with federal and state climate rules will drive up costs and are pushing for preemption language in the Senate climate bill, which is expected to be released on Monday. 

Nichols’ CARB is working to implement a California greenhouse gas law many oil lobbyists are trying to kill. The Northeast, meanwhile, has the regional greenhouse gas initiative, which establishes a carbon trading market similar to what is contemplated in federal legislation.

Nichols said state officials aren’t interested in running “duplicative or overlapping” programs. But state programs can make a national push to reduce greenhouse gases more effective, the officials say.

“Each of us has different jobs to do,” said Doug Scott, director of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The House climate bill tried a compromise, preempting state climate action for six years. The state officials said they didn’t like that approach but accepted it for the larger prize of a federal carbon cap, which they add, they all support.