After Murkowski, What Now For Climate Change in Congress?

A week after the Senate’s rejection of the Murkowki resolution last week, where does climate change stand in Congress? The defeat of the resolution is not the end for those who don’t want EPA to regulate under existing authority. Senator Rockefeller hopes to get to the floor a bill that would delay EPA regulation of stationary sources for at least two years, but keep in place the mobile source compromise reached last year. Rockefeller has stated that he hopes to get the votes of some Senators who opposed Murkowski’s resolution.

What about cap-and-trade legislation? Notwithstanding the President’s stated commitment to getting it passed, it’s not obvious that the votes are there. Senator Lieberman, one of the sponsors, is now saying that the bill deserves a debate, notwithstanding the absence of 60 votes. Not exactly an encouraging prognosis for those who want legislation to be enacted.

I’ve got to say, it looks as though paralysis remains the word of the day. The Senate may be the world’s greatest deliberative body, but with respect to climate change, it’s difficult to see anything other than sound and fury, signifying nothing, for the near term.

And that’s two Shakespeare quotes in one month.


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