Copenhagen and Health Care Dim Chances for Passage of U.S. Climate Bill


The bitter battle over health care legislation, fears that global warming legislation could harm the weak U.S. economy, and the failure of the Copenhagen climate summit to set binding CO2 emissions reductions targets will make U.S. Senate passage of a carbon cap-and-trade bill difficult in 2010, according to senators from both parties.

Politico reports that the partisan struggle over health care reform — in which 60 Democratic senators are poised to pass a bill with no Republican support — has alienated moderate Republicans whose votes are crucial to passage of climate legislation.

Referring to the health care debate, moderate Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina — who has previously voiced support for a proposed climate bill — said, “It makes it hard to do anything because of the way this was handled.”

Other moderate Republicans, including Susan Collins of Maine and Dick Lugar of Indiana, said prospects for passing cap-and-trade legislation were dim, with Lugar saying health care legislation has delayed the climate bill “almost indefinitely.”

Moderate Republican support for the climate bill is necessary because some Democrats from hard-hit industrial states oppose the legislation, especially if major economic powers such as China do not set limits on CO2 emissions.

The House of Representatives narrowly passed a cap-and-trade bill earlier this year.

Article appearing courtesy of Yale Environment 360

[photo credit: heatingoilcom]

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

1 Comment

  1. I always wonder what happened to imaginations among politicians. If the big 5 could come to some sort of agreement on their own, it strikes me that between the WTO and the World Bank, they have two means for leverage. Adding a tariff to imports that do not match CO2 cuts or loans where the country has to commit to CO2 emissions cuts in order to get the loans would be effective.