Senate Watch: Bingaman, Boxer, Lincoln, McCaskill, Merkley, McCain, Murkowski, Reid, Rockefeller, Sanders, Whitehouse 1

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 18 Nov 2009 19:30:00 GMT

Numerous Democrats are voicing opposition to acting on climate change.

Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

The Hill “We’ve got all kinds of difference of perspective of where the Senate is and where the votes are and where the Senate should try to move,” Bingaman said of his meeting with the other chairmen. Bingaman, the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, said he would be willing to pass energy legislation separately from a cap-and-trade bill to address climate change.

E&E News It’s pretty clear that there seems to be a developing consensus that we want a more flexible opportunity for all countries to achieve greenhouse gas emission reductions. The idea that the only test of a country’s ability to achieve greenhouse gas reductions is whether they adopt a formal cap is just not necessarily the appropriate measure.

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

The Hill “I’d love to get it done tomorrow,” said Boxer, who acknowledged others are less intent on moving that quickly.

Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)

The Hill “I’m not in a hurry to do that,” she said of climate change legislation. “I think the energy bill we did in the Senate Energy Committee gets us a long way toward job creation and moving us from an old-energy economy to a new-energy economy, which is really what the objective is — lowering carbon output and lessening dependence on foreign oil.”

Claire McCaskill (R-MO)

Wall Street Journal It’s really big, really, really hard, and is going to make a lot of people mad. Climate fits that category.

Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Politico There are folks who would say, ‘Well, let’s just shut down coal-powered plants.’ That is not going to happen. You are not going to have 60 votes in the Senate to shut down coal.

John McCain (R-AZ)

Wall Street Journal The delay was “just a matter of reality, they can’t get anything done at this time,” said Sen. John McCain, who has previously supported climate legislation. He has said he wouldn’t support the current Senate proposal because of disagreements over its handling of nuclear energy.

Lisa Murkowski (D-AK)

E&E News You know what, we’d get blamed at Copenhagen if we acted or if we didn’t act. It is what it is.

We’re obviously not going to be doing that [passing a climate bill] prior to Copenhagen. Do we walk into Copenhagen with this label that the U.S. has failed?

Harry Reid (D-NV)

The Hill When asked Tuesday about the timing for climate change legislation, he told reporters that “we are going to try to do that sometime in the spring.”

Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

The Hill Most of the country doesn’t know what cap-and-trade is. They have no idea. I would say half the Senate have no idea what cap-and-trade is and could not explain it.

He said climate legislation should not reach the floor before July of next year, putting the controversial bill on the schedule only months before Election Day. “You have to get this stuff out to the American people before you change their lives, and we are not paying any attention to that,” Rockefeller said.

Rockefeller said his state would be the most affected and that his residents need more time to know what the bill is about. “Right now they don’t, and therefore they are terrified and furious, and I don’t blame them,” he said.

National Journal I’ve got a responsibility to let them know what their options are. But nobody can talk about options right now. I think my problem with climate change right now is that it’s a subject that relatively few people know about. It’s sort of an elitist subject.

Politico They don’t have a deal until they get the coal-state senators, and they are a long way from doing it. They’re going to need us to pass a bill.

Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Politico “I’ll do everything I can to oppose that,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said of the lowered targets.

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

Politico I think there’s a danger that coal interests will demand such a large share of the proceeds of the bill that it creates a backlash. So I think they’ve got to be aware of their own prudential limitations.


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  1. CC26 Thu, 19 Nov 2009 13:36:16 GMT

    Democrats are voicing opposition to cap and trade because by and large the American people do not want it. It will cause a tremendous amount of economic pain for little to no environmental gain. Make sure your Representatives in Congress follow suit. Write them at