Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas tells Bloomberg the problem is the bill is just “too big of a lift.” She thinks the Senate would be better off crafting a bill that enforces a renewable energy mandate this year. Once that’s handled, Congress could tackle reducing greenhouse gas emissions next year.
Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan, both from North Dakota, support Lincoln’s position.
The climate bill is unwieldy, and could be better served by being chopped up into smaller pieces, but it will not happen. There’s too much political pressure to get the bill passed.
All the world’s leaders will gather in Copenhagen in December to hammer out a climate change pact. Obama is on record as supporting a global initiative. If he shows up and tells the rest of the world we’ve shelved our cap and trade plans, then the whole thing crumbles.
There’s national reasons this won’t happen, as well.
Obama and the Democrats won’t let a major piece of legislation fall apart. It would be an embarrassing setback for them. No matter how fat it gets, we anticipate Democrats doing all they can to get the law passed.
Besides, if Congress said, “wait until next year” to tackle cap and trade, we don’t see how it would happen. This would be the fourth time in less than 10 years that cap and trade was rejected by the Senate. We don’t think the fifth time would be a charm.
And there’s Senate races coming in 2010. If you think Senators want this hot topic in the crosshairs during an election year, you are crazy.
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