Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

Failure of Warner-Lieberman

It never had a chance. With President Bush firmly opposed, the first national carbon cap-and-trade legislation to reach a full vote in the Senate was never going to make it into law. Initially, environmentalists considered it a victory that the bill — co-sponsored by Joseph Lieberman, an independent Democrat, and John Warner, a veteran Republican — had even made it to the Senate floor. But then came the debate. With gas prices at near-record levels, critics in the Senate argued that a cap on carbon emissions would raise energy prices on American consumers. Economists disagreed, but the doubters won out, and the bill fell a dozen votes short of the 60 needed to beat a Republican filibuster. Obama has said he'll try again, with a strengthened Democratic Senate majority — but don't bet on this bill passing in the middle of an economic meltdown.