The Slow Death of Climate Change Legislation

It joins the club with healthcare and financial reform.

| Mon Mar. 1, 2010 5:42 PM EST

The climate change bill is yet another piece of legislation being watered down almost to nothingness in a vain attempt to gain two or three Republican votes. This weekend's new proposal from the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman team, for example, ditches economy-wide carbon pricing and instead would implement lobbyist-friendly caps on individual sectors. (It's lobbyist friendly because this makes it much easier for lobbyists for specific industries to pick off their little piece of the pie. Before long, the whole thing is gone.) And anyway, Sen. Dick Lugar says it's still no good: he could support carbon pricing "potentially at some point, but not at the moment." Aaron Wiener translates:

Which is Congress-speak for: Sure, I’d consider voting for climate legislation, but not until after the midterm elections, when the Democratic majority will be sufficiently reduced to make passing a comprehensive climate bill impossible. At which point I’ll oppose it because "it simply doesn’t have the votes."