Fresh from buying off large swaths of the health-care industry to support Obamacare, the administration and its congressional allies are now hard at work trying to craft a version of a global-warming bill that placates Midwestern power companies:
Electric utilities are at the center of the battle as Democrats mount a last-ditch election-year effort to enact reductions in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the key issues facing senators trying to craft compromise legislation is how to win over Midwest utilities without alienating the big electric companies on the East and West coasts that supported a House-passed climate bill.
“Until we see the details of yet another 1,000-page bill, it is difficult to know how much support it will garner,” said Zack Hill, a lobbyist for Alliant Energy who is representing a coalition of Midwest utilities on the issue.
Proponents would like to release the details of the legislation on Earth Day, April 22. Are Democrats deluded enough to sock the economy with a huge new energy tax right after socking employers with a huge new health-care tax? Sorry, I have an inclination towards rhetorical questions.
Oh, and then there’s this little Newspeak update:
Proponents of the legislation in the Senate are reworking the proposed emissions rules and have jettisoned the term “cap and trade.” The system for reducing emissions now is being called “reduction and refund.” Interior Secretary Ken Salazar told CNBC last week “the term cap and trade is not in the lexicon anymore.”