An influential coalition of Fortune 500 companies and environmental groups that was formed to support climate-change legislation has splintered over the Lieberman-Warner bill that is headed next week to the Senate floor.See, the People want carbon taxes. It's those corporations that are impeding progress. Who is John Galt?
Without widespread corporate support, passage of the bill - already a long shot at best - becomes even more unlikely this year. President Bush remains opposed. House Democrats have been slow to act.
Besides that, a backdrop of rising gasoline prices and the sluggish economy makes it difficult to win votes for a regulatory scheme that will raise the prices of electricity and gasoline. In fact, a key purpose of the bill is to put a price on the emissions of greenhouse gases, as a way to speed the transition to a clean-energy economy and slow down global warming.
But don't worry, there is plenty of time to pass the legislation next year. In fact, the environmental lobby didn't even bring their A-game this time around (emphasis mine):
[E]ven supporters concede that the debate will set the scene for action in 2009.Thanks, New Hampshire!
"This will put us in a position to have action next year," says David Doniger, director of the climate center at the Natural Resources Defense Council, a supporter of the bill. "We expect in the Senate that the 60-vote rule will be applied. That's a hard one to get over."
As currently written, Lieberman-Warner might fall short of a 50-vote majority in the Senate, let alone the 60 votes required to close debate, insiders say. Presidential candidates (and Senators) Clinton, McCain and Obama all support climate-change legislation.
UPDATE:Heh. Looks like one of the environmental groups pushing Lieberman-Warner is violating McCain-Feingold. I wonder if Sen. McCain will go after them the way he went after Wisconsin Right to Life.