Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts will put the chill on climate legislation

Tue, 2010-01-19 20:38Kevin Grandia
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Scott Brown's win in Massachusetts will put the chill on climate legislation

Republican candidate Scott Brown has won the race to replace the late Senator Ted Kennedy in Massachusetts and, as I wrote earlier today, this does not bode well for the clean energy and climate change legislation currently being considered in the Senate.

Up until a couple of weeks ago this was seen as an easy win for the Democratic candidate Martha Coakley, but as the polls began to tighten, the political punditry began to speculate what a Republican win would mean for President Obama’s health care reform package. In a nutshell, and without getting into wonky talk about super-majorities and the like, a Brown win in the Bay State most likely means health-care-for-all is dead in the water.

While the ramifications for the health care package have rightly been the talk of the town and the cable news talking heads, there are other parts of Obama’s plan that will also suffer. One of the biggies is the American Clean Energy And Security Act, also known as the Waxman-Markey bill or the green jobs/clean energy bill.

ACES proposes, among other things, to invest in renewable energy, energy efficiency incentives for homes and buildings, grants for green jobs and a cap-and-trade program that aims to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020.

Up until Brown threw his hat in for the Massachusetts Senate race he has supported climate legislation. Two years ago, in his capacity as a state Senator, Brown voted in favor of a regional-level cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts 10% by 2019, saying:

“Reducing carbon dioxide emission in Massachusetts has long been a priority of mine.”

Flash-forward to this Sunday with Brown now questioning whether climate change is even happening. The Boston Globe quotes Brown as saying that:

“It’s interesting. I think the globe is always heating and cooling,” he said. “It’s a natural way of ebb and flow. The thing that concerns me lately is some of the information I’ve heard about potential tampering with some of the information.”

His campaign website now echoes this stance:

“I oppose a national cap and trade program because of the higher costs that families and businesses would incur.”

It always blows my mind how quickly “principled”politicians are willing to change their minds when the smell of more power wafts about their heads and Brown’s flip-flop means we will most likely not see ACES passed into law anytime soon, if at all in 2010.

Previous Comments

I’ve been reading people’s tweets today about Scott Brown and there’s some crazy stuff being said. You can see some on my online show at http://www.youtube.com/TopTrendingTopics

I’m sure the tweets will continue in full force tomorrow!

I can see the narrative being setup already. When health care fizzles or cap and trade doesn’t pass, it will be those darn Repubs who are at fault.

But, will Democrats ask the really important questions. Such as how did they lose the Senate contest? Kennedy held that seat for nearly 50 years! And the state hasn’t elected a Republican senator since 1972!

Why did Democrats change the senate appointment process in 2004 over the veto of the Republican governor?

That Democrats could so crushingly lose a senate race in the most left-leaning of states is the real story.

It was a set up, so to make the appearance the democrats lose the Mass. seat so the Obama would not be viewed to back off the health care, as they did the public option, but as a “fair” lose for the republicans. Most Bostonian-Mass. are whit American who had a change of heart of the Obama health care. Most are wall street fellows and buddies who fear their deep pockets would be harm from the Obama health care leading to the surprise Mass senate seat.

We have the UK about to have the Conservatives win big time in this spring’s election. Rudd in the AU is in real trouble as the Liberals (aka conservatives there) are gaining support.

Bottom line is the public is catching on that AGW is nothing more than a scam to rape their wallets.

had hopes that moderation would see an end to ridiculous statements like this, although it must be said things are definitely much improved.

There are a variety of factors that look likely to put the Tories into power, such as the length of time Labour have been in charge and the desire for change, the change in Labour leadership, the economic collapse, unpopular wars. All of these add up.

We could spend days discussing British politics, hell, our politicians make a career out of it. But the one thing that is certain is that Wakefield has not read the Conservatives Energy and Environment policies.

In short, Wakefield’s understanding of British politics is as deficient as his understanding of AGW.

Seems like a very politically astute guy and he weighs his words pretty well too. As I look at that second quote, It’s the sort of thing Palin should say, but she wouldn’t do it so smoothly.

His 3rd quote shows he knows which way the wind is blowing.

Kevin, here is some food for thoughts for those who believe in conspiracy. Having the democrats scare from the realization the health may be overly costly, and in effort to back off the proposed health care and maintain “public trust” the Obama administration made backroom dealing where they would lose the senate seat in Mass in exchange for the appearance as if the Republicans have taken the win and thus not blaming Obama for the health care none pass. Remember the efforts and democrats support made in Al Franken’s election so democratic gain majority. The Mass democratic support from Obama was all too late and too bad leading to a for sure loss. There leaving the impression that “the health care did not pass because the republican gain the seat the stop the health care” and the appearance of balance of power.

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Wind turbine in Wolfe Island, Ontario

This is a guest post by David Suzuki.

What’s the fastest-growing sector in Canada’s economy? Given what you hear from politicians and the media, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s the resource industry, especially extraction and export of fossil fuels like oil sands bitumen and liquefied natural gas. But we’re no longer just “hewers of wood and drawers of water” — or drillers of oil, frackers of gas and miners of coal.

Although extraction, use and export of natural resources are economically important and will remain so for some time, we’re starting to diversify....

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