FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Only 15 more Senate votes needed for cap and trade
Darren Samuelsohn reports cap and trade backers are 15 Senate votes short of the 60 needed for passage.
According to Samuelsohn’s article, the Senate count stands at 45 yes or probably yes, 32 no, and 23 fence sitters:
To start, there are 45 senators in the “yes” or “probably yes” camp, including Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Maine Republicans Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe.
There are 23 fence sitters. Alaska’s Mark Begich (D) and Lisa Murkowski (R) need to keep their home state’s oil and gas interests in mind, while Ohio’s Sherrod Brown (D) and Michigan Democrats Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow are pressing for provisions that help agriculture and their state’s ailing manufacturing and auto industries.
There are also 32 Republicans who are unlikely to vote for a climate bill of the shape and size that Obama and congressional Democratic leaders envision, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Missouri Sen. Kit Bond and Oklahoma Sen. James Inhofe, an outspoken skeptic about the link between man-made greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Have things change so much since the 1990’s? Back then, the House approved President Clinton’s energy tax, also known as the BTU tax. That vote was as close as Friday’s on the Democrats’ cap and trade energy tax:
In 1993, the legislation containing the Clinton energy tax was adopted on a 219-to-213 vote with 38 Democrats defecting. On Friday, the House bill was approved 219 to 212, with 44 Democrats defecting.
Clinton’s energy tax didn’t pass the senate and the Democrats lost the senate in the following election.
The whole point of both Clinton’s BTU energy tax and the current cap and trade energy tax is to price fossil fuels out of the market. Imposing higher energy costs on our economy, costs which don’t apply to economic competitors such as China and India, does not make sense for a struggling economy facing Obama’s out of control spending, higher taxes and ever growing multi-trillion dollar deficits.
In 1997 the Senate unanimously passed, 95–0, the Byrd-Hagel Resolution, which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing nations as well as industrialized nations or “would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States.” Byrd-Hagel prevented Clinton from even trying to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which also would have put the U.S. economy at an economic disadvantage to China and India.
Have things really changed so since the 1990s that the U.S. Senate would vote to give our economic competitors an advantage?
Have things really changed so much that the Senate would vote cause electricity rates to skyrocket and to bankrupt anyone who builds a coal powered plant?