The Future of Climate Legislation and Dems

by Greg Pollowitz

Barbara Boxer says full speed ahead:

The political collapse of cap-and-trade climate legislation won’t dislodge greenhouse gas emissions reductions from the top of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s agenda next year, Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) vowed today.

Briefing reporters on her priorities for the international climate talks proceeding in Mexico (see related story), Boxer framed her hard-fought re-election victory last month — as well as Californians’ rejection of a bid to delay the landmark state global warming law — as a sign of public support for cutting carbon emissions without a comprehensive climate bill.

“What we have to do is just let people know the truth” about the science of climate change, Boxer said. The oil industry-backed ballot measure aimed at stalling California’s state law lost decisively, she asserted, after supporters of emissions limits “pulled open the curtain” with a well-funded messaging campaign (E&E Daily, Nov. 3).

On the other hand, Politco has this report on changes in the White House and the future focus, or lack thereof, on climate and energy issues:

Would anyone notice if the White House didn’t have a special energy and climate office?

That’s the million-dollar question as President Barack Obama considers giving Carol Browner a promotion to deputy chief of staff.

Browner took charge of the newly-created enclave two years ago and was seen as the leader of an all-star green team. But while her stock has risen with the president, her portfolio has shrunk with the new political reality.

Comprehensive climate legislation is dead and won’t be coming back for several years. House Republicans are salivating over the chance to investigate global warming science, as well as Obama’s use of so-called “czars” like Browner who they claim have unprecedented power over Senate-confirmed agency heads.

My bet’s on, “Nobody will notice.”

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