Is Cap and Trade Doomed? Maybe Not.

About a week ago, center-right Dems in the Senate signaled their opposition to considering a cap-and-trade bill this year, which would effectively kill the legislation for the foreseeable future. Is the effort doomed? Maybe not.


To be sure, it's difficult to know what, if anything is going to work its way through the Senate in 2010. There are plenty of possibilities -- Wall Street reform, jobs bill, cap-and-trade, student-loan reform, immigration -- but a tighter schedule and a political culture that gets increasingly risk-averse in an election year.

This week, however, Bradford Plumer makes the case that getting a climate bill done this year will be "a tough slog," but it may yet come together.

A few days ago, Ben Geman of The Hill reported that most of the caucus wants to move on a climate bill, and that includes coal-staters like Arlen Specter. True, a few conservative Dems would rather drop the carbon cap and just pass a standalone energy bill -- money for renewables, money for the grid and electric vehicles, etc. -- but that's still a minority view. And the White House insists it won't stand for "slicing and dicing." They want the full cap.

Granted, just because Democrats are moving ahead doesn't mean they have the votes. And if Landrieu and Nelson are opposed, they'll need some Republican support. But optimists should note that Lindsey Graham is still huddling with John Kerry and Joe Lieberman on a "tripartisan" climate bill. Graham keeps getting abused by the South Carolina GOP, but he's calling for a "meaningful control" on pollution. Also, Susan Collins is co-sponsoring a cap-and-dividend bill.... So that's at least two Republicans. Not a slam-dunk, but not sheer fantasy, either. (And for those who love tea leaves, two more Republicans, Richard Lugar and Lisa Murkowski, were saying positive things [6] about the Copenhagen accord.) [...]

Then there's the biggest reason climate change isn't likely to slink away in 2010 -- the EPA, remember, is still preparing to regulate carbon-dioxide on its own if Congress doesn't step in. That's already prompted a few swing senators, like Mark Pryor, to reconsider their stance on cap-and-trade. The Senate doesn't have a choice between doing nothing and doing something. It's a choice between doing something or having the EPA do it for them and making a lot of businesses angry.

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Alternet All Access and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.