"It's Official: No Climate Bill This Year"

"It's official: climate legislation has zero chance of passing before the big summit in Copenhagen this December. Many observers have assumed this for a while, though some (myself included) were hanging on to a shred of hope that senators could produce something in time for the meeting. But on Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he would direct the Environmental Protection Agency to conduct a full run of studies after he combines the various components of climate and energy legislation into a single bill. The EPA says this process will take about five weeks. Copenhagen kicks off on Dec. 7, just 32 days from now.

If the Environment and Public Works committee (EPW) could approve a bill before Copenhagen, that would be better than nothing. But right now even that prospect looks dicey, since Republicans are boycotting the markup. The committee's head, Sen. Barbara Boxer, could technically forge ahead without them, since the chair pretty much gets to set the rules. And with a 12-7 Democratic majority, she doesn't actually need Republican votes to pass a bill. But some worry that this approach would widen the partisan divide over the issue, giving moderate Republicans and Democrats in the wider Senate yet another excuse to vote against the measure."

Kate Sheppard reports for Mother Jones November 4, 2009.

See Also:

"Senate Democrats Ready To Pass Climate Bill Thursday Despite GOP Boycott, Sources Say" (Washington Post)

Washington Sketch: "Republicans Give Global-Warming Hearing the Cold Shoulder"

"Obama Admin Weighs Costs of Doing Nothing on Climate" (ClimateWire)

"Senate Trio To Pursue Separate Climate Talks" (Washington Post)

"Kerry: Dems May Pull Carrots if GOP Won't Bite" (National Journal)

"Boxer Invites EPA In for Questions About Climate Bill" (ClimateWire)

Press Release: "Faith Leaders Call for 11th Hour Rescue of Senate Climate Change Bill" (Worldwide Faith News)

"Economists Concur on Threat of Warming" (New York Times)

Inhofe Says Senate Climate Drama Is All an Act (Washington Times)

"Poor Urge Deep Climate Cuts" (Reuters)

"New Business Group Backs Climate-Change Bill" (San Francisco Chronicle)

"Chamber: We Want To Help On Climate Change -- Really!" (TPM Muckraker)

Source: Mother Jones, 11/05/2009