The PR folks working for Big Oil have to be breathing a sigh of relief these days. All the populist outrage that is usually spewed at the Exxons and Halliburtons of the world is being redirected at Goldman Sachs — and its gleaming, glittering $2.7 billion second-quarter profit amid the wreckage of the American financial system.
While both healthcare and cap-and-trade look to be in various degrees of trouble, some savvy Capitol Hill watchers make this point to me: Democrats look at failure to do something about healthcare as an Extinction Level Event, with a failure on cap-and-trade also incredibly damaging, particularly with the Dem base. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told wavering Dems that a cap-and-trade failure was a dagger in the Obama presidency. She pushed them to the wall. Healthcare even more so. Expect a full-court press in the Senate on both. At the same, either of those issues slipping into 2010 is fatal to their chances. The next five months may make or break the Obama presidency.
My sources have been unrelentingly negative about the chances of a cap-and-trade bill getting passed, but far less so about a renewable energy standard on electricity providers. So any suggestion to split the Waxman-Markey approach into separate cap-and-trade and RES bills, as Sen. Byron Dorgan is doing, is a big negative for capandtraders. It’s also amazing to see how the current anti-Wall Street sentiment is hurting cap-and-trade because of the perceptions that financial firms will make a mint in the trading of emission permits. Here is a bit from a recent Dorgan op-ed piece:
I can tell you the pro-Obamacare Washington wonks I chat with are pretty down right now about the chance of “real reform” getting passed. And as the costs and inadequacies of Obamacare become more apparent, I expect to here more ideas like this one by economic analyst Ed Yardeni: