Rahm Emanuel famously said that you “never want a serious crisis to go to waste.” And certainly the sense of crisis earlier in the year helped the White House pass the $787 billion stimulus package. But where stands the rest of the Obama legislative agenda?
Mitt Romney attacks cap-and-trade via video over at his PAC website, Free and Strong America. He basically portrays it as an energy tax on Americans (which it is) that will hurt American competitiveness vs. India and China (which is it will.)
Working for the International Energy Agency must be hoot. Where else can you recommend a $10 trillion investment and kinda-sorta be taken seriously? From the WSJ:
OK, so the White House has greenlit the EPA to go forward with new rules, as the NYTimes puts it, “to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from hundreds of power plants and large industrial facilities.” I think this lobbyist quotes in the article gets the politics right:
The great Dan Clifton of Strategas Research hears the same thing I am hearing:
We continue to believe the Senate does not have 60 votes for a meaningful cap and trade bill and today’s events are largely designed to keep the process moving. With healthcare taking up so much of the calendar and financial regulation to follow, cap and trade is now squarely put into the election calendar. Should something pass next year, we expect the legislation to a be a stripped down energy bill (as opposed to cap and trade) and that will feature a Renewable Portfolio Standard and possibly easing of approval for transmission lines.
They may not know all the stats and numbers, but people instinctively don’t seem to want to pay a lot of dough to limit carbon emissions. Not even close. In fact, you can find plenty of climate experts who doubt they ever will, particularly in India and China. Betting on mitigation and technology seems the more realistic route. A bit from Bjorn Lomborg: