Cap-and-trade dead again?

posted at 9:30 am on June 16, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama spoke to the nation for seventeen minutes from the Oval Office, a move intended to frame this speech as his most significant since taking office.  As widely expected, Obama tried to give the impression of being in charge in the unfolding disaster in the Gulf, but as noted earlier, failed to convey any sense of having command of the situation.  Supporters also widely expected Obama to push hard for the cap-and-trade bill that has been languishing in the Senate for almost a full year.  Instead, Obama offered platitudes about wind turbines and green energy, but pointedly avoided a mention of the Kerry-Boxer bill, as Politico reports:

While his rhetoric was commanding and decisive – some administration aides billed the speech as “turning the page” — it wasn’t entirely clear where Obama would go from here to achieve this “national mission.”

Missing from the speech was any specific commitment to a bill regulating carbon emissions, which many environmentalists and some Senate Democrats wanted. Nor did he articulate a strategy for jump-starting the moribund Kerry-Lieberman climate bill, an omission that earned him instant criticism on the left, including a roasting by MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews.

“I thought it was a great speech — if you’ve been on another planet for the last 57 days,” Olbermann quipped.

“Is there a specific direction we’re going in? He didn’t even tell us,” added Matthews.

Does that mean cap-and-trade is dead?  It’s been pronounced dead on several occasions during the year, only to have Democratic leadership pledge to push forward this year.  They don’t have much choice; if the bill doesn’t get passed in this session of Congress, it will have to be reintroduced from scratch in the House next year.  As it is, the House will have to have at least one more vote on it to get it to Obama’s desk, probably in a conference committee, if the Senate passes its version.  Next year, Democrats won’t have the votes to pass it, and in the House may not have control of the agenda to even get it to a vote.

That’s the conundrum, however.  Any Democrat in a competitive district foolish enough to vote for cap-and-trade in the final few months before the general election can assume that his legislative career will come to an end.  Many Democrats won’t be returning anyway, but they might believe a chance exists to avoid the tsunami coming in November if they can demonstrate some independence from Nancy Pelosi with a couple of late votes — and cap-and-trade would be an excellent target for strategic voting on their part.

Perhaps Obama just assumed that the bill was dead in this session no matter what he said in his speech last night.  However, his refusal to support what had been one of his declared goals for this session of Congress sends a clear message to Democrats in the House and Senate that Obama doesn’t want to waste his declining political capital on yet another deeply unpopular, grasping overhaul of the private sector, this time in energy.  Expect Democrats to get it loud and clear — and expect Kerry-Boxer and Waxman-Markey to wither on the vine.


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Comments

We can only hope.

bopbottle on June 16, 2010 at 9:33 AM

Assuming they can’t ram it through the Senate with 50 votes, I don’t see how it passes. There’s no way a single Republican will vote for it(no, not even the Maine sisters or Brownie). And I can’t see Bayh, Lincoln, either Nelson, or Rockefeller ending their political careers over this.

Doughboy on June 16, 2010 at 9:34 AM

Any Democrat in a competitive district foolish enough to vote for cap-and-trade in the final few months before the general election can assume that his legislative career will come to an end.

Does Paul Kirk today wish he could change his vote? I don’t think I could pull the lever for him. Fortunately, I don’t have to worry about it.

Marcus on June 16, 2010 at 9:34 AM

“I thought it was a great speech — if you’ve been on another planet for the last 57 days,” Olbermann quipped.

Your-anus? Just don’t mention any black hoes’.

Electrongod on June 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM

I heard they don’t have the votes to pass HCR.

/

artist on June 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM

It’s never dead. Like a zombie, it has to be beheaded and dismembered before we know it won’t rise again.

englishqueen01 on June 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM

Mark Kirk, that is.

Marcus on June 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM

ObamaCare was supposed to be dead; until we get a whole lot of the Dems replaced I don’t think we can relax.

sloopy on June 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM

I hope the ‘rats do manage to pass it, this country needs another million or so jobs lost in the energy sector and energy prices quadruple what they are now; no better way to get the economy back on track.

Bishop on June 16, 2010 at 9:40 AM

I think we need to shoot it with a silver bullet. Maybe get Steve Forbes to drive a stake through its heart.

flyfisher on June 16, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Cap-And-Trade is like one of the lurching undead corpses from your typical George Romero zombie movie. You think it is dead until it comes back up and starts coming at you again.

pilamaye on June 16, 2010 at 9:42 AM

By November, democratophobia will be listed in the American Psychiatric Association’s practice guidelines.

Akzed on June 16, 2010 at 9:43 AM

I hope the ‘rats do manage to pass it, this country needs another million or so jobs lost in the energy sector and energy prices quadruple what they are now; no better way to get the economy back on track.

Bishop on June 16, 2010 at 9:40 AM

It’ll cost way more than a million jobs. I just can’t see them passing this. Not with the internal polling they’ve gotta be seeing right now.

Doughboy on June 16, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Nothing would surprise me at this time with these people. Shoving health care down our throats when polling clearly showed the majority of people wanted no part of that package, this was a blatant action by these politicians to legislate against the will of the citizens.

I must believe these people are acting out on a plan that has been in place for decades, and judgement day is here. I must prepare my family for the worst case scenario. Firewood, dry food, generator, stored fuel….. I have never witnessed anything like this before in my 56 years of life. No group of politicians is this stupid. These moves we are watching could very well be by design, which means jobs are not coming back anytime soon. Rain fear upon the masses and seize control… Far fetched fear on my part?

Whatever…

Keemo on June 16, 2010 at 9:45 AM

I just can’t see them passing this. Not with the internal polling they’ve gotta be seeing right now.

Doughboy on June 16, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Where were you during the HCR fiasco?

artist on June 16, 2010 at 9:47 AM

I hope the ‘rats do manage to pass it, this country needs another million or so jobs lost in the energy sector and energy prices quadruple what they are now; no better way to get the economy back on track.

Bishop on June 16, 2010 at 9:40 AM

Please stop saying things like this. It’s hardly a given that anything the Democrats are passing will ever be repealed.

Asher on June 16, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Keemo on June 16, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Don’t forget a bunker complete with shag carpet, blacklight posters, and a good supply of 8-track tapes. Those 8-tracks will be worth their weight in gold after the collapse, mark my words.

Bishop on June 16, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Don’t expect anything. The GOP will fold like a cheap suit, just like they have on every other thing that’s been important!

flytier on June 16, 2010 at 9:49 AM

It’ll cost way more than a million jobs. I just can’t see them passing this. Not with the internal polling they’ve gotta be seeing right now.
Doughboy on June 16, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Yah I don’t know what the real numbers are but I saw a piece online that said Louisiana alone would lose 40,000 jobs right off the bat the day such a bill is passed.

Bishop on June 16, 2010 at 9:49 AM

Bishop on June 16, 2010 at 9:47 AM

Good point my friend!

Keemo on June 16, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Many congressional dems already know their career is over, due to their behavior and votes on the socialized medicine bill.

What better way to go out with a bang than to give their constituents the finger while voting for cap and trade?

Vashta.Nerada on June 16, 2010 at 9:51 AM

I heard they don’t have the votes to pass HCR.
/
artist on June 16, 2010 at 9:36 AM

This. Righty pundits, sad to say, don’t have a great track record at predicting these things. NancyHarry always seems to find a way.

Purple Fury on June 16, 2010 at 9:51 AM

Wait til the dems who are running in Nov see dear leader’s latest poll numbers. There is no way they are going to follow him over the cliff. If the govmint can’t control one oil gusher, why would anyone believe they can control the climate. Bet they weren’t inspired about that speech last night either.

Kissmygrits on June 16, 2010 at 9:52 AM

Where were you during the HCR fiasco?

artist on June 16, 2010 at 9:47 AM

By the end of the Obamacare debate, the polling was horrible. But it was a steady decline for the Dems and Obama over the course of 8 months to reach the depths they currently find themselves in.

Doughboy on June 16, 2010 at 9:54 AM

I guess we’ll have to fool the people one more time-Stupak/Blue Dogs

artist on June 16, 2010 at 9:56 AM

Meanwhile the oil still spills, the fire booms still haven’t arrived, the skimmers aren’t there … And the beaches are turning brown.

Obama still doesn’t get his nonsense, energy is not renewable, and who needs to advance the study of unicorn powered covered wagons? Quickly you realize, the supply of unicorns is way limited, processing the unicorns into fuel is going to be hard.

He truly is a man lost in space, ideological commie space.

tarpon on June 16, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Cap-And-Trade is like one of the lurching undead corpses from your typical George Romero zombie movie. You think it is dead until it comes back up and starts coming at you again.

pilamaye on June 16, 2010 at 9:42 AM

Which, also, accurately describes both John Kerry and Barbara Boxer.

Lourdes on June 16, 2010 at 9:58 AM

Has anyone else been hearing radio commercials by some commie greens claiming to be GOP, using Reagan voice-overs about the environment and then telling us straight up that if Reagan were still here he would vote to reduce carbon emmissions to save the planet?

myrenovations on June 16, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Ed, I think you mean the Helmet-Kerry bill.

Monica on June 16, 2010 at 10:01 AM

Missing from the speech was any specific commitment

Translation: PRESENT!

GarandFan on June 16, 2010 at 10:03 AM

The estimate is the cost to a household will be $1200 a year. Which means, like any estimate done by the govt, it will cost 5X as much once fully implemented. Which means $6000 extra in the cost of energy spent by every household.

But as long as we get the earth to cool by 0.001 degrees, I’m all for it.

angryed on June 16, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Somehow, someway, this cap-n-tax bill is gonna get merged into that financial reform bill. Then the dems will bring it back to the senate under some sort of reconciliation bill. And of course, then they can do it all with fewer votes. They might even call the new bill ‘The US financial and environmental social justice act of 2010’.

November elections are already lost, might as well go for it all!

Freddy on June 16, 2010 at 10:04 AM

The estimate is the cost to a household will be $1200 a year. Which means, like any estimate done by the govt, it will cost 5X as much once fully implemented. Which means $6000 extra in the cost of energy spent by every household.

But as long as we get the earth to cool by 0.001 degrees, I’m all for it.

angryed on June 16, 2010 at 10:03 AM

Hey don’t forget to add that to the extra $3,000 average per family increase in Federal taxes when the Bush tax cuts expire. Fun times ahead!

Johnnyreb on June 16, 2010 at 10:08 AM

Beware the Mad Duck congress in November. They’ll pass everything Obambi wants.

NeighborhoodCatLady on June 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM

The only carbon that most Americans worry about is what builds up in the M-4’s and AR 15’s.

docflash on June 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM

The only carbon that most Americans worry about is what builds up in the M-4’s and AR 15’s.
docflash on June 16, 2010 at 10:10 AM

The Crap/Trade bill addresses that carbon too. All firearms will be confiscated and the owners given environmentally friendly slingshots in return (made with sustainable bamboo of course).

Bishop on June 16, 2010 at 10:14 AM

Does that mean cap-and-trade is dead?

Hibernating.

maverick muse on June 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM

You have to read the rest of that article:

EXCLUSIVE: Phil Schiliro, the White House congressional liaison, has told the Senate to aim to take up an energy bill the week of July 12, after the July 4 break (and after the scheduled final passage of Wall Street reform). Kagan confirmation will follow, ahead of the summer break, scheduled to begin Aug. 9. The plan is to conference the new Senate bill with the already-passed House bill IN A LAME-DUCK SESSION AFTER THE ELECTION, so House members don’t have to take another tough vote ahead of midterms.

A White House aide has the official word: “President Obama reiterated his call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation to break our dependence on oil and fossil fuels. In the coming weeks he will be reaching out to Senators on both sides of the aisle to chart a path forward. A number of proposals have been put forward from Members on both sides of the aisle. We’re open to good ideas from all sources, and will be working with Senators on a comprehensive proposal. The tragedy in the Gulf underscores the need to move quickly, and the President is committed to finding the votes for comprehensive energy legislation this year.”

FACTS OF LIFE: How many crises of historic proportions are going to require unprecedented government action? Stimulus, Wall Street, health care, troops, energy: These are all big issues, but at what point will people think the president is just trying to spook people into massive government action?

rockmom on June 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM

I’m not too worried about them passing a lot more bad legislation between now and November. What really worries me is what they’ll do after they’ve already been kicked out of office after Nov 3, but they get to keep passing legislation for 2 more months.

Kelligan on June 16, 2010 at 10:17 AM

I think this idiot just realized that Clinton’s impeachment wasn’t a fluke!

abobo on June 16, 2010 at 10:18 AM

“Is there a specific direction we’re going in? He didn’t even tell us,” added Matthews.

As if you need to be told? C’mon Chrissy, you should already know from that leg tingle where we are going.

Can’t you all just feel that Hope of Change? – /sarc

JohnnyD on June 16, 2010 at 10:23 AM

Does that mean cap-and-trade is dead?

Remember, the national healthcare bill was dead too.

Think Kamakaze.

fogw on June 16, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Cap and Trade is a lost cause…it’s a wooden horse…they don’t need it since giving such sweeping control to the EPA, it is the EPA that will sweep in rules and regs to cover the so called inaction of the govt to enact any Cap and Trade law of any kind…why do you think it is not mentioned?

What ever happens happens…it does not matter, what we think say or do…if the majority of americans want what Obama has to offer, who are we to stop it?

Accept it folks…what will be will be…better to know what we shall live under than wonder…

The truth is not relevant any more…no one wants to hear it anyway…or say it.

If we all just embrace Islam and going green and pay our taxes, share the wealth and spend spend spend, we shall all survive…

America will be changed come he!! or high water or oil…so deal with it…

Isn’t negativity special!! /s

I am so sick and tired of hearing we need to do this and that…and nothing happens…I am done doing, just gonna hibernate…wake me when it is over…

Rant off…

RoxanneH on June 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

fogw on June 16, 2010 at 10:24 AM

Oy! You are one smart Yankee.

Reading last night’s theatre? Rumor in DC is that Cap’n Tax ain’t dead. They are gonna morph it like they did healthcare.

The One is discovering that politics is the art of the possible. Thus the eighteen minute speech, instead of forty minutes of the same drivel.

He is too dumb to change and realize some horrible facts in economics and energy policy. See the content of the speech.

IlikedAUH2O on June 16, 2010 at 10:45 AM

During his speech, Obama only mentioned the “need to pass comprehensive energy and climate change legislation” in passing, somehow trying to link its passage to reducing dependence on foreign oil.

But this is only a smokescreen, as even the bill’s supporters know. I listened to a speech from Senator Joe Lieberman last week (in person), in which he expressed his proposals for a Kerry/Lieberman cap-and-trade bill which would (if passed) impose limits on CO2 emissions on the electric power industry immediately, then the manufacturing sector four years later, and the transportation sector 10 years later. Later in the same speech, Lieberman said that the nation gets 50% of its electricity from coal, 20% from natural gas, and 20% from nuclear power plants. That leaves only 10% for oil, hydro, solar, and wind power combined.

So how does imposing limits on CO2 emissions from coal and natural gas (70% of our electricity per Lieberman) reduce our dependence on foreign oil (less than 10% of our electricity per Lieberman, the actual figure is about 3%)?
How much oil do we save by taxing emissions from OTHER sources over 20 times more plentiful?

Cap and Trade, as it is currently proposed, would have VERY LITTLE effect on oil imports, most of which are used in the transportation sector, NOT for electric power, and Lieberman knows this. But he is using “reducing oil imports” as the justification for Cap and Trade, as is Obama.

The crucial question is, are 60 Senators gullible enough to fall for this?

Steve Z on June 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Why the long face, Jeanne-Claude?

Del Dolemonte on June 16, 2010 at 11:01 AM

This won’t die. Not while the liberals have a chance of taxing the heck out of all of us using this scheme.

theCork on June 16, 2010 at 11:10 AM

rockmom on June 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Geraghty also picked up on the plan to pass Cap & Tax after the election.

The Dems assume that defeated Dems in the House and Senate will go along. If they want jobs as mid-level federal bureaucrats in DC or as lobbyists, they’d be inclined to go along.

But the ones that just want to move back home, and maybe be of some influence in local politics may hesitate. There may be enough bitter Dems who took too many for Pelosi and plan to get out of politics, who won’t go along.

If Pelosi loses the House, she has less leverage over her caucus, as would be the case with Reid.

But there may be enough true believers left in the House and Senate to shove it through.

I recall a conference committee report (what the bill is called) cannot be filibustered.

Wethal on June 16, 2010 at 11:10 AM

While his rhetoric was commanding and decisive

In your wildest dreams.

chemman on June 16, 2010 at 11:13 AM

Oh it will pass. This has been in the making for years. Everything is in place now and the payoff, oh the payoff. It will pass.
Snake oil be damned. They’ll have finally bottled air.

onomo on June 16, 2010 at 11:16 AM

Kissmygrits on June 16, 2010 at 9:52 AM

They’ve already followed him over the cliff, HCR. In for a penny in for a pound.

chemman on June 16, 2010 at 11:19 AM

All talk and still no action. He wants to use the MMS to promote wind instead of cleaning up the cesspool and doing its work.
His assembly of scientists and engineers is a joke. Salazar ignores what they say. Summers assembled economists 1 year ago and they were ignored also. BP and Enron started the cap and trade fiasco. Will he still honor their groundwork?

seven on June 16, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Senator Joe Lieberman last week (in person), in which he expressed his proposals for a Kerry/Lieberman cap-and-trade bill…

…The crucial question is, are 60 Senators gullible enough to fall for this?

Steve Z on June 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM

As to Lieberman, the man’s mind is gone. I’m quite serious about that, he is rife with smirky, mirky, creepy ideas and plans and whatever he may have been at some time in the past (credible, perhaps), he certainly is no longer. I wouldn’t buy a pulled-weed from the man even if he guaranteed it’s liveliness with a thousand dollars’ gift certificate.

About your last question, noticably rhetorical though I’ll comment anyway:

I don’t think today’s Congressional population is all that intelligent. There are some individuals there who are capable and noticably well informed — as in, intelligent enough to be informed about specifics in legislation under consideration and up for voting — but overall, in my experience, today’s Congressional Careerists are mostly not of the intelligent-kind from among our human population.

They aren’t reliable, in other words, to the population overall. They’re in office and stay there due to specific voting blocks mostly riled by extremely marginal social demands and they use this gimmick to remain in Congress to serve very bad things.

More reason there really needs to be term limits for both the House and the Senate. Term limits would resolve at least some of the appeal to the exploitive among us, people who see the perks (lifetime job security, perky benefits including perpetual healthcare and a padded pension, chief among those) and use that gained security to wreak havoc on the rest of us.

Lourdes on June 16, 2010 at 11:38 AM

So how does imposing limits on CO2 emissions from coal and natural gas (70% of our electricity per Lieberman) reduce our dependence on foreign oil (less than 10% of our electricity per Lieberman, the actual figure is about 3%)?
How much oil do we save by taxing emissions from OTHER sources over 20 times more plentiful?

Steve Z on June 16, 2010 at 10:59 AM

Interesting that we all, the general population, can perceive (easily) a great deal of “loosely fitted wiring” in this Cap’n’Trade legislation idea yet there are never any specifics offered to address any of these questions.

Much like what happened with the so-called Health Care mess. No answers, lots and lots of questions and many doubts but no answers, nothing specific other than we know we’ll be paying higher taxes and receiving less.

So Cap’n’Trade bespeaks of similar bad plans and very bad intentions. It’s favored ONLY by people engaged in the Ponzi Schemes associated with buying carbon credits and by some “environmentalists” who see trash on public lands and think Cap’n’Trade is the way to go about picking up the trash: pass the legislation, daisies will grown in the Mojave, ta-da!

But these players in Congress do know what they’re planning and why and they are not providing any information about Cap’n’Trade beyond the vague nonsensical suggestions and even absurd conclusions (such as from Obama) that are being promoted. They know they are doing evil, in other words, and are determined to do so. In that, I specifically point at John Kerry.

Lourdes on June 16, 2010 at 11:45 AM

It shouldn’t matter for those who voted for/allowed the health care bill to go through. They should be tossed out no matter how they will vote on any other bill.

Vince on June 16, 2010 at 12:07 PM

However, his refusal to support what had been one of his declared goals for this session of Congress sends a clear message to Democrats in the House and Senate that Obama doesn’t want to waste his declining political capital on yet another deeply unpopular, grasping overhaul of the private sector, this time in energy.

Never under estimate the would be dictator. Obama doesn’t give a fig what anyone else wants. It’s ALL about him. If he wants it, he’ll get it.

capejasmine on June 16, 2010 at 3:07 PM

Does that mean cap-and-trade is dead?

Hibernating.

maverick muse on June 16, 2010 at 10:15 AM

Just waiting for Grahamnesty and McPain to return to their ole form after November.

chickasaw42 on June 16, 2010 at 4:33 PM

What makes you think that O! won’t implement this through EPA regs?

SDN on June 17, 2010 at 7:30 AM