Cement makers like “piecemeal” approach to climate bill

The move away from a comprehensive energy and climate bill could ease passing legislation.

Director of affairs of the Portland Cement Association Bryan Brendle believes passing measures in chunks could aid in the passage of cap and trade legislation.

This week President Barack Obama noted that it may be necessary for lawmakers to split up the comprehensive climate and energy bill that could not amass the required 60 Senatorial votes.

Brendle said that allowing lawmakers to pass less controversial bills could be constructive by focusing on specific areas such as energy efficiency and nuclear power.

Fight against EPA
The Portland Cement Association is hoping to delay the passage of EPA greenhouse gas regulations which would take effect January 2011.

These regulations would require permits showing that facilities are limiting their GHG emissions by using the beset available equipment.

Brendle believes these new regulations require more flexibility.

His supporters are behind Senator Jay Rockfeller’s bill to prevent EPA regulation of GHGs for two years.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has promised a vote on this legislation by year’s end.

Buying time
By passing the Rockefeller legislation, Brendle believes Congress would have more time to pass other climate legislation that the Portland Cement Association could support.

“Climate legislation would provide possible market mechanisms to reduce CO2, incentives for energy efficiency and other incentives under a one-size fits all cap,” said Brendle.

However, Brendle did not discuss what sort of cap-and-trade bill he would support and the Portland Cement Association did not take a stance on the Waxman-Markey bill, which aimed to decrease GHGs 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 through a cap-and-trade system.

Yet the association was encouraged that the bill included a set of allowances for energy-intensive and trade-exposed manufacturing.