Bills on Climate Move to Spotlight in New Congress

Persistent rumors that the president might support an emissions cap, circulating in Washington and Europe, were rejected Tuesday by his press secretary, Tony Snow.

Published: 19-Jan-2007

Legislation to control global warming that once had a passionate but quixotic ring to it is now serious business. Congressional Democrats are increasingly determined to wrest control of the issue from the White House and impose the mandatory controls on carbon dioxide emissions that most smokestack industries have long opposed.

Four major Democratic bills have been announced, with more expected. One of these measures, or a blend of them, stands an excellent chance of passage in this Congress or the next, industry and environmental lobbyists said in interviews.

Many events have combined to create the new direction — forsythia blooming in lawmakers' gardens in January, polar bears lacking the ice they need to hunt and Al Gore's movie, "An Inconvenient Truth," along with pragmatic executives seeking an idea of future costs and, especially, the arrival of a Democratic-controlled Congress. There was evidence of the changed mood all over Washington this week.

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