Kerry-Boxer Bill Out of Committee
On November 5, the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee voted out the Kerry-Boxer bill titled the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (CEJAPA, S. 1733). All except one Democrat, Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), voted for CEJAPA. All seven Republicans on the committee boycotted the EPW markup and vote of CEJAPA, arguing that they needed a full economic analysis of the bill by the Environmental Protection Agency before they could propose amendments.
CEJAPA passed out of the EPW committee with a restrictive definition of renewable forest biomass. Sen. Baucus introduced an amendment to replace the flawed biomass definition with the 2008 Farm Bill definition of "other plants and trees," but amendments were unable to receive votes because of the Republican boycott. CEJAPA is now up for grabs by several Senate committees with jurisdiction. It remains unclear where CEJAPA will go next, but FLA will continue to advocate for the Farm Bill definition and support Sen. Baucus' efforts to attach his amendment to fix the biomass definition.