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Senate Democrats ponder climate, make no decisions

By Juliet Eilperin

Senate Democrats held their long-awaited caucus meeting on climate and energy legislation Thursday -- and failed to decide what to do about it.

While several senators delivered presentations -- Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.), Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and the sole Independent among the Democrats, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (Conn.) -- there was, in the words of Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), "no questions or discussion."

There was a multimedia element, such as Kerry and Lieberman's video, which takes a hit at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). Every presenter had a video, according to Sen. John D. Rockefeller (D-WVa.), a fact Rockefeller found "interesting."

But when all was said and done, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) couldn't even say whether any energy and climate bill he would offer on the floor next month would include a price on carbon.

When asked point-blank if the leadership bill would include such a provision he demurred, telling reporters, "There was a number of discussions about how to do what's best for the country. Of course, pricing carbon was a part of the discussion."

The inability of lawmakers to press for this sort of market-based mechanism confuses utility executives such as Ralph Izzo, CEO of Public Service Enterprise Group (PSEG).

Alternative energy sources such as nuclear, wind and solar power, Izzo pointed out in an interview, "are not economic options if the market doesn't recognize the environmental and national security costs associated with foreign and domestic oil. You have to get that price into the market, that's a price on carbon."


Juliet Eilperin

 |  June 17, 2010; 3:24 PM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
Previous: The White House's lame-duck climate strategy | Next: Will Obama meeting next week break climate bill logjam?


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Possibly the reason for the lack of progress is that the politicians can read polls and understand the the public is not buying the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming scare propaganda. Most people who have studied the issues agree that increasing CO2 in the air makes the air warmer than it would be without the CO2.

The constant drumbeat exaggerated claims about rising sea levels, floods, droughts, increased or decreased snow fall, dying lizards, melting ice, and so on is just that. Exaggeration in the hope that the public will buy into carbon taxes. Some of the authors are true believers who think Al Gore has some connection to actual science. Some (like Al Gore) stand to make a fortune if only they can get the public to support carbon taxes or cap and trade or any combination that takes in money.

The public isn't buying, and politicians who vote for these schemes might have to find a real job after their next election. Another two or three cold winters and the catastrophic global warmers in the research communities might have to look for real jobs also.

Posted by: AGWsceptic99 | June 20, 2010 4:55 PM
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There are already is a price on carbon in the market and several taxes. The cost is in the futures market and stock price of companies that extract and market coal, gas, oil and electricity. It's in the cost of emission reduction systems in cars.

There are already several taxes on everything that is bought: federal, state, local and several special taxes. It is ridiculous to keep adding more and more taxes on top of 3,4,5+ taxes already there.

These big oil and energy companies have a huge share of the wealth. Giving them carbon credits and tripling the price of electricity is all beneficial to these big companies and stock trading companies but adversely affects the bottom 90% earner.

If you want to sell electric cars in the next few years, tripling the cost of charging the battery won't help. Solar and wind products need to get their prices down to compete.

Wind and solar don't work well for large scale needs. If a way could be found to economically make water heaters solar powered, it would cut down on grid powered and fossil fuel consumtion.

I have no faith in the Senators and Congressmen who are bought and paid for by these carbon advocates. It's all hobnobbery and repayment for campaign contributions.

Posted by: Independent109 | June 20, 2010 8:36 AM
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The republicans in the senate weren't worried about the deficit when that big insurance company and Wall Street execs were giving themselves bonuses with taxpayer money!!! They bailed their friends out now didn't they!!!Next election – let Congress feel the sting of the unemployment lines!!! – How many years have you paid taxes? 30? 40? Your government bails out bankers and Wallstreet execs using your tax dollars – but unemployment is allowed to expire? What happened to "by the people" or "for the people"? Or are the big campaign contributors the only "people" who count to congress? They are playing games AGAIN FOR THE THIRD TIME while you are wondering how to feed your kids? Figure it out! Malfeasance – Failure of a public official to perform their duties!!! Next Election MAKE YOURSELF MATTER BY VOTING!!! 10% unemployment carries 10% of the vote! Use it!! Fire them all next election or recall every Congress member NOW for Malfeasance – Failure of a public official to perform their duties!!! Next Election - Lets get people elected who actually represent all the People- this current congress represents only special interest groups!

Posted by: agh1 | June 18, 2010 9:27 PM
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