After the lack of success of the Obama Administration in promoting the US agenda at the Copenhagen summit, the pundits are increasingly skeptical the President and moderate Democrats will go to the mats in an effort to pass a cap and trade bill in 2010. The announcements in the past 24 hours by Senators Dorgan and Dodd that they will not run for re-election are also harbingers of a poltical environment that will make it difficult for any large new tax and spend program (no matter how cleverly hidden) to survive an onslaught by Republican opponents in the November mid-term elections. Today, for example, Jeff Bingaman (D – NM), Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, came out with a press release where he did not completely “throw in the towel”, but indicated it is highly unlikely cap and trade will be able to move forward in the near-term.
Today’s NationalJournal.com (an interesting source of information) also presents a series of blogs on the issue: some indicating legislation may still be possible, but with a clear preponderance of opinion that it is more likely to be dead in the water.
All that said, in view of the “vote for sale” mentality demonstrated by several of our esteemed legislators in connection with the recent Senate Healthcare debate, opponents of cap and trade should not let down their guard. As jaded as our system might seem, it is still worth the effort to speak up and let your representatives know how you feel about things. Rosalind Peterson (of California SkyWatch) and I plan on visiting Washington later this month to let our concerns be known. If cap and trade and the science behind Global Warming have indeed received a set-back as a consequence of a less than effective process in Copenhagen and the negative “Climategate” publicity, we should be ever-more wary that proponents of geongineering schemes will take up the void and become more emboldened. In my opinion, it is difficult to measure whether cap and trade scams or geoengineering schemes are more harmful to our general well-being; so I will continue to try to bring light to either, or both, as they evolve.