Politico is reporting that the Kerry-Lieberman bill to fight anthropogenic climate change (You know, the problem that doesn’t exist), which only a few days ago looked like it was heading for a vote in the Senate, may instead be dead:
The Senate climate bill has been at death’s door several times over the past year. But with the days before the August recess quickly slipping away, the case may truly be terminal now.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) has wanted to introduce a sweeping energy and climate bill by next week, and Reid even told POLITICO on Monday night that the package was almost ready to go.
But by Tuesday afternoon, Reid was noncommittal about when a bill would come or what it would contain.
“We’re going to make a decision in the near future,” Reid said, describing plans for a Democratic caucus on the issue Thursday. “We’re really not at a point where I can determine what I think is the best for the caucus and the country at this stage.”
Key advocates for legislation to cap greenhouse gases emitted by power plants are pleading for more time as they try to cut a deal with the industry, but it’s time that Reid doesn’t have as he races to finish other Senate business — including the confirmation vote on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan — while girding for a bruising midterm election.
Meanwhile, swing-vote Democrats and Republicans are still clinging to the fence, if not saying no outright. And President Barack Obama has yet to deploy the kind of whip operation his allies think is necessary if the bill has any chance of notching 60 votes.
“The clock is our biggest enemy,” Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) told reporters Tuesday, shortly after a meeting with several major electric utility industry CEOs who asked for a delay in the floor debate. “Some people know that. We have to figure out what is doable in this short span of time. That’s the test, and we’re going to take a look at that.”
The article goes on to detail the problems: comprehensive regulation was too difficult to get through thanks to political and business opposition, so the bill was scaled back to “just” the electrical industry. (Which would mean your rates would still skyrocket.) But the utilities want concessions the environmentalists hate, and coal-state senators (coal being a fuel for power plants) complain their constituents would be hurt disproportionately. With all these obstacles to get past in the short time left in the legislative session, and with the prospect of a greatly reduced majority in the Senate and the very possible loss of the House after the next election, not to mention the reluctance of some vulnerable senators to further annoy their already angry voters, there doesn’t seem much likelihood this or any version of cap and tax going through this year or next.
Lucky for us.
(via Watt’s Up With That)
RELATED: Senator Kerry (D-Botox) says his bill is not dead yet.