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Can bold new crop of Senators save carbon limits?

If carbon limits have any prayer of surviving in the Senate's energy reform bill, it may turn on the efforts of one group: The energetic freshman and sophomore Senators that are pushing hard to keep carbon limits alive.

In a private meeting earlier this week with Harry Reid, some of these newer Senators made the case to the Senate Majority Leader that Dems musn't squander the opportunity to pass energy reform that deals with the problem of carbon emissions, Senator Jeff Merkley told me in an interview.

Merkley says freshman and sophmore Senators will be key to any chance of saving carbon caps. "I think the voice coming from those two classes is going to be an important part of the conversation," Merkley told me.

It's a dynamic that deserves a bit more attention: Freshman and sophomore Senators, who were elected in 2008 and 2006, have been quietly challenging some of the business-as-usual practices in the world's greatest deliberative body.

While these Senators are by no means uniformly progressive, Senators like Sheldon Whitehouse, Sherrod Brown, Al Franken, Tom Udall, Merkley and others have been trying to nudge the body in a more liberal or reformist direction.

That may be crucial if carbon caps have any hope of surviving. Several of these Senators, including Whitehouse and Mark Udall, are now beginning to threaten to withhold their support for any energy bill that doesn't have them.

Merkley's office says he's not prepared to draw a line until he sees the actual bill, but he's pushing hard for keeping carbon caps. "There's a lot of new energy in those two classes, and they recognize that this is the moment," Merkley says. "This bill is our opportunity and we need to seize it. We can't be shy about doing so."

Whether or not carbon limits does survive, this is a dynamic worth watching -- on climate change and on other issues, too.

By Greg Sargent  |  June 18, 2010; 12:06 PM ET
Categories:  Climate change , Senate Dems  
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Comments

Slave Sargent:
"If carbon limits has any prayer of surviving in the Senate's energy reform bill, it may turn on the efforts of one group: The energetic freshman and sophomore Senators that are pushing hard to keep carbon limits alive."

Again with the carbon limits, Moriarty?

What is it with you and carbon limits?

Seriously?

How much money do you or your masters stand to make from this legislation?

Full disclosure time, mame-master.

Posted by: Bilgeman | June 18, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Whitehouse, Merkley and even Udall were elected by Dems who wanted to challenge George Bush in 2006 and make a break with his disasterous Admin in 2008. They don't see the Senate as a personal accession to power so much as a platform for making the changes that this country needs to make for our future survival. It isn't a game to them or a chance to get rich, in other words, as it seems to be for the GOP Senators. They actually take governing seriously. What a concept. Hats off to them.

Posted by: Mimikatz | June 18, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I won't spoil it for those recording....but the US-Slovenia match was a treat for anyone who likes sport whatsoever.

Wow. Just Wow.

It was great in a way that the Senate is not, you know, just to make this post relevant.

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 18, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

The administration has one big lever in their tool kit to get the foot-dragging Senate to move: the 2007 SCOTUS ruling that says the EPA has the authority to regulate greenhouse gases.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 18, 2010 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Greg,
It'll be interesting to see how this plays out because the EPA's pending actions mean that liberals hold the cards, provided that 34 of them (veto-proof) stick together.

Posted by: ctown_woody | June 18, 2010 12:46 PM | Report abuse

O/T ...back to Angle for a sec.

A really smart post from mistermix at Balloon Juice:

Sharron Angle’s lousy performance with local media is getting a few yuks in the national media today, but I’m sure that the professionals at the NRSC aren’t laughing, because they understand the media opportunities that she and her soulmate Rand Paul are pissing away.

It probably goes without saying, but running for Senate isn’t the same as running for Sparkly Pony Princess BFF of America. Unlike the national reporters who have nothing to do but breathlessly repeat Palin’s latest tweet or Facebook emission, local reporters are busy reporting real news. Candidates need to work to get noticed, and they need to be available for interviews. There’s even a name that real (i.e., not Paul or Angle’s) political consultants use for getting on the local news: “free media”.

On TV, you can get minutes of free media (versus seconds of paid ads) night after night around election time. In the newspaper, free media gets front-page play that advertisers would kill for. Even a guy as well-funded as Harry Reid will no doubt be appearing all over the local TV and newspapers, because he can answer a simple question about issues listed on his website, and his campaign manager doesn’t call reporters “idiot” after an interview.

The kind of people who vote watch the local news. Staying on Fox and conservative talk radio is such a dead-end strategy that it doesn’t even pass the laugh test. At some point, the pundits who want to pretend that Angle is still a serious threat are going to wake up and figure that out.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 18, 2010 12:59 PM | Report abuse

O/T back to Harry Reid for a second:

"Nevada's unemployment rate hit yet another record in May, jumping to 14 percent. That's up from 13.7 percent in April. Nevada's jobless rate is now tops in the nation."

The Corner

Posted by: sbj3 | June 18, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

@BGinCHI

It was an amazing game...but that on call, and you know what I'm talking about, was a fail of epic size.

As much as soccer enthusists love to babble on about how 0-0, or 1-0 games can still be exciting (they can), even they would admit that a 2-2 game like this is WAY better.

It's the same with hockey. You don't have to see 10 goals a game...but 3-5 makes the game more enjoyable to watch. Also, both soccer and hockey are terrible sports to watch on TV - the games don't lend themselves well to the confines of a set viewframe.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 18, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

sbj, this is for you:

http://www.pollster.com/polls/nv/10-nv-sen-ge-avr.php

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 18, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Back on topic...

It's good to see the young class starting to become more vocal. The hope would be that as we continue to change out the caucus, we get more progressive with time, as we have seen over the past decade.

The real exciting part is to think that these young Senators will eventually move up, due to seniority, to leadership positions. It's great news to see they are finding their voice. Only time will tell how effective they have become at shaping actual policy with those voices...

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 18, 2010 1:21 PM | Report abuse

sue, thanks for posting that BJ comment here. It's spot on.

BBQ, yeah: FAIL. FIFA has a knack for getting small country refs in over their heads in these kinds of matches. But given that the US got a gift in game 1, I'd say it sort of evens out. They can automatically go through if they beat Algeria by 2.

Here's a hint US: DON'T give up the first goal!

Posted by: BGinCHI | June 18, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1: Try filtering that to eliminate Research 2000 (just like DKos has!)

Posted by: sbj3 | June 18, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

@suekzoo1: Try filtering that to eliminate Research 2000 (just like DKos has!)

Fine, and you filter out Rassmussen like most others do. Matter of fact, take out both.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 18, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Breaking:

BP's chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has told Sky's Jeff Randall that embattled chief executive Tony Hayward is to have a changed role in dealing with the oil spill.

Asked by Randall about Mr Hayward's ongoing role, Mr Svanberg said: "He is now handing over the operation to Bob Dudley."

Robert Dudley has been the managing director of the oil giant since 2009.

Prior to the appointment Mr Dudley was president and chief executive of TNK-BP, Russia's third largest oil and gas company.

Mr Svanberg also told Randall that comments by Mr Hayward have had detrimental effects as the company seeks to control the fallout from the disaster.

"It is clear Tony has made remarks that have upset people," Mr Svanberg said.

Mr Svanberg admitted that the disaster is turning from an industrial accident into a much broader concern and he will now expand his own involvement.

"This has now turned into a reputation matter, a financial squeeze for BP and a political matter and that is why you will now see more of me," Mr Svanberg said.

"This incident is a tragic one and something that should never have happened," he said.

Mr Svanberg revealed that the company's strategy had been for Mr Hayward to be the primary voice however political repercussions now require a changed structure.

"As this is now turning to a different type of crisis, that is where I come in," he said.

The chairman said the Gulf of Mexico deep water accident was "a low probability accident with very high consequences".

Mr Svanberg admitted that "America is frustrated" at BP's accident but declined to confirm if there would be a major management overhaul at the oil giant.

"I still strongly believe in BP and that we will come through this," he said.

http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Business/Mark-Kleinman-BP-Hires-Adviser-To-Collate-Portfolio-To-Sell-Assets/Article/201006315651589?lpos=Business_First_World_News_Article_Teaser_Region_0&lid=ARTICLE_15651589_Mark_Kleinman_BP_Hires_Adviser_To_Collate_Portfolio_To_Sell_Assets

Posted by: suekzoo1 | June 18, 2010 1:42 PM | Report abuse

@sue: Pretty close for a whackjob!

BTW - Rassmussen actually did quite well in Silver's latest ratings:

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/search/label/pollster%20ratings

Please don't get me wrong - I see Angle losing. But Reid is terrible.

Posted by: sbj3 | June 18, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse


@BGinCHI

It was an amazing game...but that on call, and you know what I'm talking about, was a fail of epic size.

As much as soccer enthusists love to babble on about how 0-0, or 1-0 games can still be exciting (they can), even they would admit that a 2-2 game like this is WAY better.

It's the same with hockey. You don't have to see 10 goals a game...but 3-5 makes the game more enjoyable to watch. Also, both soccer and hockey are terrible sports to watch on TV - the games don't lend themselves well to the confines of a set viewframe.

Posted by: TheBBQChickenMadness | June 18, 2010 1:16 PM
....................

Ice Hockey is great to watch on a HiDef plasma flatscreen.

The end to end rapid action, keeps it engrossing, even when few goals are being scored. Soccer does not have that same speed of attack and counter attack, so the lack of goals becomes more noticeable.

Have you ever seen the two National Sports of Ireland; Hurling and Gaelic Football?

They are fast paced, and have lots of scores also.

The main reason for that is because they have a crossbar, and and a goaltender set in place . A ball that goes over the cross bar is counted as one point, and one that gets past the goal tender, into the net, is a goal, which counts for three points.

In Gaelic Football, the players are also allowed to catch the ball.

One rule change that would open up the scoring in soccer, and make it a better end to end, fast paced game, is to get rid of the offside rule.

Get rid of that rule, and you will see a lot more end to end action, and a lot more goals. That would make the game far more appealing to people in the USA.

Posted by: Liam-still | June 18, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

We need the Senators that haven't run for a second term which means they have yet to be bought by the oil industry.

I really think Politics should be financed exclusively by the people with no corporate monies...

Posted by: soapm | June 18, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

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