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Sep. 22 2009 - 4:58 pm | 41 views | 0 recommendations | 8 comments

Cap and Trade is dead

Cap and Trade Headstone

Yep. We are calling the ballgame. Way too many Senate Democrats have irreconcilable concerns about the bill, and after the bête noire of this summer’s townhalls, and the attendant beatings their House colleagues took over their votes for it, along with the looming midterm elections next year, the Democrats have no stomach for this fight.

Just for openers, Democrat Sen. Sherrod Brown said there aren’t even 50 votes yet, let alone 60.

Climate change legislation won’t even get 50 votes in the Senate if possible harms to manufacturers in the bill aren’t addressed, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Tuesday.

Temporary assistance will be needed to prevent American manufacturing jobs from relocating to India and China in order to address Rust Belt lawmakers’ concerns about the climate bill, Brown said in a conference call organized by the liberal Campaign for America’s Future.

“I don’t think there’s any way we get to even 50 votes if we don’t deal with manufacturing in the climate change bill,” Brown told reporters. “I do know for sure that there are a number of us who understand that manufacturing is so important to this country that if we don’t do manufacturing right, our standard of living will continue to decline. . . .

Among lawmakers’ concerns is a sense that climate legislation in the U.S. would provide manufacturers with an incentive to relocate production overseas, where not only would they enjoy lower labor costs, they would also face far less stringent environmental regulations.

That last concern, about jobs going overseas, is called the law supply and demand, which, like the law of gravity, cannot be changed by liberal wishful thinking. So how many Democrats want to sign on to that job-killer in this recession? Also, the unions and the liberal base were not all that thrilled with NAFTA, which at least had the upside of benefitting American companies. This monstrosity will costs jobs and hurt companies.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.Nev), suggested last week that the whole thing will probably have to wait until 2010, which, of course is a euphemism for “the thing is dead.” After all, do the Democrats think it will be easier to pass a huge, job-killing tax in an election year, especially when Reid, Dodd, and a slew of other endangered Democrats will be fighting for their political lives?

Then there were those 10 Senate Democrats who wrote a letter to Obama last month explaining to him what he already knows; that the Cap and Trade bill would dramatically increase energy costs (I think the president himself would say ‘increase’ is too mild – ‘skyrocket‘ is his preferred term) and damage U.S. manufacturing.

Therefore it is essential that any clean energy legislation not only address the crisis of climate change, but include strong provisions to ensure the strength and viability of domestic manufacturing. Further, any climate change legislation must prevent the export of jobs and related greenhouse gas emissions to countries that fail to take actions to combat the threat of global warming comparable to those taken by the United States.

Of course China and India have no intentions of ‘taking steps to combat the threat of global warming’ especially steps ‘comparable to those taken by the United States.’ The Senate Democrats have therefore informed Obama that his next big project just went up in smoke.

The thing is dead. It won’t be missed.


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  1. collapse expand

    Another big win for the oil and gas industry…now if they can succeed in keeping their subsidies and tax breaks…we can expect the speculators to get back in the game and get prices back up where they belong.

    • collapse expand

      I prefer to look at a defeat of Cap and Trade as us keeping our tax break, because we would have had to pay more taxes and more for everything that is made using any kind of energy . . . which is everything. All the taxes levied on manufacturers would have been passed along to consumers and lots of jobs, as the Democrats noted, would have gone overseas. Both parties are killing this.

      If you don’t like corporate tax breaks, why not just have Nancy and Harry eliminate them? It would be a lot easier.

      In response to another comment. See in context »
  2. collapse expand

    Mr. Dupray,

    It is certainly possible, there are a great many very powerful political forces out there (the petroleum industry, aerospace, the electric generation community, the automotive industry) dead set against any action on GHG emissions controls and there are really not that many in favor of it, and those that are, are not nearly as powerful. Besides, why put off until tomorrow what you can avoid altogether? Besides all of that, without the full weight of the WH behind it, Cap and Trade would never get out of committee and it seems that their attention is now elsewhere (Health Care Reform and Afghanistan). However, as America’s greatest philosopher once noted “Making predictions is hard, especially about the future”. Wise is the Yogi.

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    About Me

    I am a lawyer afflicted with a consuming desire to analyze and debate politics.

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