There’s a growing divide on cap and trade on the Senate, and it breaks down along regional more than partisan lines. Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), a liberal skeptic of the Waxman-Markey/Kerry-Boxer approach to federal climate change legislation, requested an EPA analysis that has Midwestern utilities companies crying foul. From the New York Times:
They say the assessment (pdf) reveals that states like California will receive a financial windfall under a global warming bill, while states like Wisconsin will not get enough help and will have to spike electricity rates as a result.
“The EPA document just confirms the formula will disadvantage Midwest states for decades to come while the coastal states will hit a ‘federal jackpot’ every year over the life of the new program,” said Zachary Hill, senior manager of federal government affairs at Alliant Energy, a Wisconsin-based utility.
Environmental groups are sticking to their guns, rejecting the EPA analysis as methodologically flawed and tied to provisions in the House bill that could ultimately be changed by the Senate. But the already perilous path to passing cap and trade has just gotten trickier.