IT’S DEAL/NO DEAL ON ENERGY-CLIMATE
Mild climate bill still a tough sell
Darren Samuelsohn and Coral Davenport (w/Kendra Marr), June 30, 2010 (Politico)
"President Barack Obama and key Senate Democrats signaled…they can live with a climate bill that falls far short of the economywide cap-and-trade plan Obama campaigned on…[but it’s] not clear…they can pass one.
"Even a watered-down Democratic climate proposal still faces something between skepticism and outright hostility from most Senate Republicans — and the Democrats will need at least one, and probably a few, of them to get a bill through the Senate…Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he had doubts that [the watered-down] utility-only proposal [discussed by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.)]…could get enough traction, given competing interests and the short calendar before the elections…"
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"…[President Obama reportedly] insisted during the West Wing meeting that he wants to put a price on carbon emissions but acknowledged the difficulty of persuading other senators to go along on provisions that GOP leaders are quick to dub a “national energy tax.” … White House press secretary Robert Gibbs…said he wouldn’t disagree…[about] the administration’s willingness to budge from the sweeping, economywide approach…
"All 23 senators attending the meeting spoke about their preferences for energy and climate legislation, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), lead author of a bill establishing a nationwide renewable electricity standard and of a draft plan covering greenhouse gas emissions from power plants."
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"Among the Republicans, only Maine Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins endorsed the concept of setting mandatory caps on carbon emissions. Collins favored a bill she has co-authored with Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) that would auction off the bulk of her plan’s emission allowances, with three-quarters of the revenue recycled back to taxpayers. But Snowe made perhaps the biggest waves when she suggested moving toward a utility-only approach [and moved toward the bargaining table]…[O]ther Republicans…wouldn’t rule out a utility-only approach, even if they had their doubts about its chances…
"Suggestions from the White House and Senate Democrats that they’ll scale back their ambitious climate bill are sure to draw fire from all sides of the climate debate…Some moderate Democrats aren’t even interested in going that far…And some of the far left environmental groups don’t like the idea all that much either…Reid is planning a mid-July floor debate on the energy and climate bill, before the Senate begins the confirmation debate on Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan…]He] has not yet made any decisions on the size and scope of the packag…"