Democrats ask White House to wait on climate change issue

| 12/28/2009

In the last few days of an economically disappointing 2009, and before an election year, several moderate Democrats are reportedly asking the White House to give up any intention of passing a cap-and-trade bill next year.

Cap and trade would establish carbon emission limits for several industries and is expected to cause sharp increases in fuel and diesel prices. A credit system would allow businesses that operate above limits to purchase credits and businesses with leftover credits to sell on the open market.

The House narrowly approved a cap-and-trade bill in July, and Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-CA, and John Kerry, D-MA, introduced companion legislation in the Senate in early October.

The Washington, DC-based news magazine Politico is reporting that Sens. Mary Landrieu, D-LA; Ben Nelson, D-NE; Kent Conrad, D-ND; and Evan Bayh, D-IN, have indicated the passage of a large-scale cap-and-trade bill is “unlikely.”

“I’d just as soon see that set aside until we work through the economy,” Nelson told Politico.

“What we don’t want to do is have anything get in the way of working to resolve the problems with the economy.”

OOIDA opposed the House climate change bill, and has expressed concerns that any economy-wide cap-and-trade measure will raise the price of diesel. The Association has asked its members to contact their Senate representatives to voice their concerns.

The U.S. Capital Switchboard can be reached at 202-224-3121.

Other climate change proposals have reportedly hinted at charging specific prices for carbon dioxide emissions. That money would return to consumers rather than circulating through a stock market-like system.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer