Free Markets, Free People

Cap-and-trade: And the good news is …

Cap-and-trade is on life support.  Or so says Politico, and, frankly, the clock.  With the August recess rapidly approaching and no bill yet on the floor of the Senate, it appears that the Senate won’t be passing an “Energy and Climate” bill this session.

That’s mostly because of the cap-and-trade provisions and the greenhouse emissions portion of the bill.   Because of those provisions, the necessary Republican votes simply aren’t there.  The bill, sponsored by John Kerry and Joe Lieberman, is scaled back from the original intent to have cap-and-trade apply to a broader sector of industry to only the energy industry.

As you might imagine, that industry isn’t at all pleased with the focus solely on them.  Lieberman and Kerry haven’t yet convinced them to sign on to the bill nor have they found the sweetners which would entice them.

Meanwhile, apparently some of the Republicans in the Senate have made it clear that this rush through of major legislation shouldn’t happen:

“He’s waiting until we have, like, two or three days to tackle a subject that usually takes seven or eight weeks,” GOP Conference Chairman Lamar Alexander said of Reid. “That makes it very difficult.”

“Can I be very candid with you?” Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) asked. “This whole thing is very cynical. Anybody who’s been in the Senate for any period of time knows there’s no way — no way — an energy bill can get done between now and the election or even now and the end of the year.”

The “he” referred too in the quote is, of course, Senate Majority leader Reid. And apparently – at least it seems so now – the “we’ve got to rush this through” ploy is not going to carry the day. 

Some Senators think that Reid should take the cap-and-trade provisions out of the bill:

“If they’re serious about bringing it up next week, they’ve got to show it soon,” said Bill Wicker, spokesman for Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.). “You can’t release it late Friday and expect people to read it and be prepared to debate it on Monday.”

But of course, Reid and the Democrats have never really cared one whit about debate or, in fact, anyone having the chance to read anything.  Witness the health care fiasco and even the financial regulation bill.  Both over 2,500 pages and what passed for “debate” was a farce.

Lieberman still hopes that the Senate will deal with the bill – even in a lame duck session.  Calling them “big and important issues regarding energy independence, pollution reduction, job creation”, he hopes the Senate won’t be constrained by some “artificial schedule.”  But time doesn’t stand still for anyone and reality is reality.  The possibility that this will pass this session isn’t at all good – and that’s good.

Says one source:

A former Senate Democratic aide said climate advocates need to start gearing up for 2011, which will require a big push from Obama, Democratic control of the House and support from Senate Republicans to have any chance of success. “The window is definitely almost shut, and if it closes without action in the next few weeks, a lot of advocates will need to take stock about when this could be realistically attempted again,” the former staffer said.

When can it realistically be attempted again?  In it’s present form not until the Democrats again have an overwhelming majority in the Senate.  And that, hopefully, won’t be for decades if at all.

In a version with cap-and-trade stripped out of it?  My guess would be something heavily influenced by the GOP will pass in the next Congress (and that should be, relatively speaking, “a good thing”).

~McQ

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13 Responses to Cap-and-trade: And the good news is …

  • There was a Politico piece 4 or 5 weeks ago that the strategy was to introduce a “harmless” stripped-down bill in the Senate and get it passed .. then after the election, use reconciliation to add in the “Cap-and Tax” provisions after the election, during a lame duck session when they could vote the way that these Senators wanted too (rather than what the folks back home wanted).
    Well, that idea went down the chutes when the Democratic Leadership missed the part in the rules that says reconciliation is based on rules set forth in the “budget” as passed, but since they didn’t pass an actual budget and rather “deemed” a budget passed, there are no rules for reconciliation and therefore there is no reconciliation for FY 2011.  There is no reconciliation after 9/30/2010 until the next budget is passed for FY2012, therefore any lame duck” session will be a “shock free” as they pass the appropriations bills, probably in omnibus form (which we know they won’t read).
    I wonder how the “journalists” of JOURNOLIST who feel if them next non-Democrat POTUS had the blacklisted or had their news organization repressed by the FCC and other arms of the federal government.

    These are not the best and brightest bulbs in the package.

  • There is no way to get Crap & Raid passed by any democratic (i.e., valid) process.
    Therefore, I look for the Collective to push it through by any means Deemocrats can contrive.

    • Hell, what need have they to pass a bill???  With Brownie running the EPA and The Dear Golfer prepared to make anything a law through executive order (so, so, so bad when Bush did it, eh?), congressional action is irrelevant.

      Come to think of it, so is Congress these days.

      But I agree: the dems have showed that they will use any means to get what they want.  I’m waiting for them to simply “deem” that any bill presented by any member of the majority is passed automatically.  After all, that’s what it means to have a majority, right?

  • Thomas L. Friedman has a piece in the N.Y. Times titled:
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/21/opinion/21friedman.html

    “What 7 Republicans Could Do”
    The hour is late, but there is still a sliver of time to pass a serious energy bill out of this Congress. To do so, though, would require President Obama to rustle up votes with a passion that he has failed to exhibit up to now, and, more importantly, it would require at least seven Republican senators to put the national interest above party and politics.

    Of course what he means is it would require the democrat majority to vote and lock step and seven Republicans to put the interest of the National Democrat party ahead of the good of the country and party politics.
    Further proof that in the minds of democrats bipartisanship is Republicans doing it the democrat way?

    • The national interest right now is to stop with the new laws and regulations. Its like a patient just had open heart surgery and then the plastic surgeon arrives and says its time for your tummy tuck. Sometimes doing nothing is the best course of action. I would also gather the emissions have been reduced simply to lower economic activity.

    • Friedman is one of the eco-hypocrites.  Do as I say, not as I do.

  • There’s still PLENTY of time to manufacture a crisis that can’t be “wasted”.

    • Talk about “scruwing the pooch” … the White House handling of the Gulf Crisis showed the worst possible timing.
      You don’t start criticizing a train wreck until the last boxcar has come to rest.