The New York Times reports that Senate Democrats have decided not to pursue a domestic cap-and-trade scheme before the election, despite the fact that the House already passed such a bill — on grave assurance from the same Senate Democrats that they wouldn’t be left hanging as the sole votes for a big energy tax.
Environment and Energy Daily reports (subscription required) that this has caused “disappointment and disbelief” among House Democrats. I’m not sure why. I predicted this last year — House Democrats similarly put their seats on the line to pass Al Gore’s 1993 “BTU tax,” and Senate Democrats, then as now, proved too politically sensible to follow suit.
I think we’ve seen the end of the House going first on big, controversial energy taxes for a while. Another 17 years, if history is any guide. The show is back to the Senate for the foreseeable future.
Incidentally, the votes of 67 senators would be needed to ratify the international version of this that we are supposed to agree to this year, Kyoto II. And Democrats have continually failed to produce 60 votes for this domestic version. This should inform the Obama administration’s ongoing efforts to secure the treaty. The situation leaves poor, suckered Europe facing calls for a one- or two-year extension of the failed, expiring pact. Which, given the politics they created, leaves them “BTU’d,” too, and deservedly so.
Of course, in the eyes of the Left, these failures offer further proof that both democracy and the Constitution are broken. In fact, they reveal quite the opposite.