California Yankee at Redstate:
Democrat Senators Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota, Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas and Ben Nelson of Nebraska say the Senate should abandon efforts to pass cap-and-trade this year.
Cap-and-trade legislation will require 60 votes to pass the Senate. According to Bloomberg, at least 15 of the Senate’s 60 Democrats have said the House-passed version — the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade tax climate change legislation — would hurt the economy and must be changed before they can support it. Most Republican Senators oppose the cap-and-trade measure.
Erick Erickson at Redstate
The cap-and-trade bill actually has more problems politically than ObamaCare. Waxman-Markey will split the Democratic caucus in the Senate along both ideological and regional lines. Senators like Lincoln and Nelson object because they represent red states that dislike government interference in private industries, especially when the intervention has the explicit goal of making everything a lot more expensive, thanks to penalties on energy production. But even normally center-left and liberal Senators will resist the idea of killing the coal industry, especially in places like Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Indiana, and other Rust Belt states.
Instead, the fifteen Democrats want to skip the entire greenhouse-gas debate and focus instead strictly on encouraging development of green energy production. That can get done with a lot less expense while eliminating a government takeover of the energy sector. If the goal of the climate-control crowd was really a boost for green energy as a means to eliminate coal as a factor through natural obsolescence, this approach should not offend them.
Iain Murray at National Review
Even though four Democratic senators are so nervous about the electricity tax called cap-and-trade they are urging their leadership to drop it from the global-warming bill, no-one should count on that happening yet. More Senators need to wake up to the significant problems cap-and-trade has, and there is no better example of those than the European version of the scheme.
Roger Abbott and Iain Murray at the American Spectator
Philip Klein at American Spectator
On a related note, Zachary Roth at TPM:
A leaked memo sent by an oil industry group reveals a plan to create astroturf rallies at which industry employees posing as “citizens” will urge Congress to oppose climate change legislation.
The memo — sent by the American Petroleum Institute and obtained by Greenpeace, which sent it to reporters — urges oil companies to recruit their employees for events that will “put a human face on the impacts of unsound energy policy,” and will urge senators to “avoid the mistakes embodied in the House climate bill.”
API tells TPMmuckraker that the campaign is being funded by a coalition of corporate and conservative groups that includes the anti-health-care-reform group 60 Plus, FreedomWorks, and Grover Norquist’s Americans For Tax Reform.
The memo, signed by API president Jack Gerard, asks recipients to give API “the name of one central coordinator for your company’s involvement in the rallies.”
And it warns: “Please treat this information as sensitive … we don’t want critics to know our game plan.”