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Could reconciliation work for the climate bill?

klgreading.jpg

The contretemps between Lindsey Graham and Harry Reid derailed the planned roll-out of the climate bill, but that doesn't mean the legislation is any less done. And so behind the scenes, it's been sent to the EPA to be modeled. If and when Graham and Reid work things out, the bill's supporters are hoping they won't have lost too much time.

Meanwhile, the possibility of losing Graham has left some people wondering what would happen if climate-change legislation had to be passed through reconciliation. Politically, there's almost no chance of this. But putting the politics aside for a second, what would happen to the policy? David Roberts, in a post that includes pictures of adorable teacup pigs, explains:

You can think of good climate policy as a three-legged stool: legislation, regulation, and investment. ... Reconciliation would effectively chop off the regulatory leg of the stool. It would, for instance, rule out at least half the provisions in the Waxman-Markey ACES bill that was passed by the House last summer, most importantly renewable-energy standards (which drive cleantech deployment and innovation) and energy-efficiency standards (which save money and reduce emissions). On the bright side, it would also preclude any rollback of EPA authority or preemption of state climate programs.

You could imagine some sort of two-bill strategy, but if you had the support for that, you'd have the support for lots of things. "In short," concludes Roberts, "reconciliation -- like Cantwell-Collins, like the carbon tax, like the energy-only bill, like so many others that have come and gone in this debate -- is another pony, gamboling just out of reach, enticing largely because it it's hypothetical, serving mostly to distract attention from the haggard pack horse that is, for all her faults and infirmities, the only ride we've really got." That horse, in case you're confused, is the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill.

Photo credit: Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly.

By Ezra Klein  |  April 29, 2010; 8:23 AM ET
Categories:  Climate Change  
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Comments

Whatever did happen to Cantwell-Collins?

Posted by: madjoy | April 29, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

What's actually "in" the bill? Anyone know?

Posted by: JERiv | April 29, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

OK, now I REALLY don't understand.

Sounds like what Roberts is saying is that there's a better chance of getting 60 votes for the Kerry-Graham-Lieberman bill under regular order, than getting 50 votes for the parts of it that could pass under reconciliation.

It's hard to believe that inclusion of the regulatory leg doesn't COST votes. What Roberts seems to be saying is that it miraculously GAINS 10 votes.

I hate to make so much use of caps, but since the WaPo doesn't allow bolding or italics, I'll just shout that NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE AT ALL.

Posted by: rt42 | April 29, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"If and when Graham and Reid work things out, the bill's supporters are hoping they won't have lost too much time."

Ezra, My impression is that things are already worked out. The roll-out of the climate bill should happen very soon.

Harry Reid announced yesterday that the climate bill will NOT wait until after an immigration bill.

See:

http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/95031-reid-climate-comes-before-immigration

Posted by: Patrick_M | April 29, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

ClimCha.

It's called "ClimCha."

Posted by: pj_camp | April 29, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

I think what would work best for the climate bill is the trash can. Check out this hilarious parody on global warming;

http://www.funnyconservatives.com/2010/01/global-disastrification-2/

Posted by: ekiosity | April 29, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

You will know what is "in" the bill when it's passed. Now is the time to "stop talking".

Posted by: truck1 | April 29, 2010 11:56 AM | Report abuse

was graham scared off?

was the "is he gay?" shot a threat of an outright war against him?

did he have to back off to save his skiln?

Posted by: jamesoneill | April 29, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

wrong dont let it pass

Posted by: swimdude32 | April 29, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

You are right, swimdude32. We must do everything in our power to stop Obama and his comrades from forcing us to swallow another job-killing, economy-killing, freedom-killing SCAM.

They don't even call it "cap and trade" any more because everyone understands "cap and trade" is another scam, which may be nail on the coffin of the U.S. economy.

Cap and Trade "would be the equivalent of an atomic bomb directed at the U.S. economy all without any scientific justification," says famed climatologist Dr. S. Fred Singer. It would significantly increase taxes and the cost of energy, forcing many companies to close, thus increasing unemployment, poverty and dependence.

Cap and trade represents huge taxes and cost increases, which will hurt mostly the poor and the middle class. Cap and trade will give dictatorial powers to Obama and will further enrich his billionaire friends (Gore, Soros, Goldman Sachs, Obama?s Chicago Climate Exchange friends, GE, the United Nations, etc.) -- all at our expense and at the expense of our children and grandchildren.

We must do all we can to defend ourselves (and our children and grandchildren) from this "climate bill" (cap and trade).

Posted by: AntonioSosa | April 29, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

You are right, swimdude32. We must do everything in our power to stop Obama and his comrades from forcing us to swallow another job-killing, economy-killing, freedom-killing SCAM.

They don't even call it "cap and trade" any more because everyone understands "cap and trade" is another scam, which may be nail on the coffin of the U.S. economy.

Cap and Trade "would be the equivalent of an atomic bomb directed at the U.S. economy all without any scientific justification," says famed climatologist Dr. S. Fred Singer. It would significantly increase taxes and the cost of energy, forcing many companies to close, thus increasing unemployment, poverty and dependence.

Cap and trade represents huge taxes and cost increases, which will hurt mostly the poor and the middle class. Cap and trade will give dictatorial powers to Obama and will further enrich his billionaire friends (Gore, Soros, Goldman Sachs, Obama's Chicago Climate Exchange friends, GE, the United Nations, etc.) -- all at our expense and at the expense of our children and grandchildren.

We must do all we can to defend ourselves (and our children and grandchildren) from this "climate bill" (cap and trade).

Posted by: AntonioSosa | April 29, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

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