Thursday, October 07, 2010


Ryan Liza has a great article in the New Yorker up on their site right now. It details the rise and fall of last year's Kerry-Graham-Lieberman Climate Change bill that President Obama had promise he would find the votes to get.

If you are unaware of the background, basically the three senators put together an ok climate change bill (had a lot of bad things in it, some good) that was going to eventually be reconciled with the House's Waxman-Markey bill passed a year earlier. The significance of this was it would be the first climate change bill ever passed, that it would begin to address what I think is arguably our biggest threat, and that would give the President more negotiating power to bring to the next climate summit (in Mexico.)

But things went down hill. The bill became watered down and then eventually lost one of its co-sponsors, Lindsay Graham, after Harry Reid declared that the Senate would tackle immigration reform before climate change (they did neither.) Graham said thats a bullshit move; it helps Harry Reid's re-election but makes Graham look bad. Kerry and Lieberman went searching for other Republican votes, which were of course elusive, and the bill faded away.

The article sheds more light on other reasons the bill failed. The Obama Administration was not really co-operating at all. They repeatedly announced give aways to the Republicans (ie off-shore drilling) that KLG had planned to give in negotiations so the Republicans would have to concede something. It also seemed some leaks were being done to undermine Lindsay Graham.

The bill wasnt that great to begin with, but not having it was unfortunate. It remains to be seen if the Obama Administration will have the balls to regulate carbon emissions via the EPA instead of legislation. But I think it sheds light on their hands off attitude, and aloofness, ended up hurting the bill. Another strike against Obama.

No comments: