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August 14, 2009

Climate Change Measure Should Be Set Aside, U.S. Senators Say

Close your eyes. Imagine for a moment that some how, some way, the White House and Congress cobble together a civilized public health care system. Within a decade, Americans are healthier than they’ve been in a generation. Preventative care available to everyone has led to fewer ER visits and fewer instances of chronic, avoidable diseases, like diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. We have more money in our pockets because we’re not paying for inefficient, privately-controlled health care. More and more of us are spending it on healthier, fresh food, and the obesity epidemic is finally turning a corner.

Guess what? We’re still fucked. Because the Senate decided one crisis is enough.

Bloomberg reports:

The U.S. Senate should abandon efforts to pass legislation curbing greenhouse-gas emissions this year and concentrate on a narrower bill to require use of renewable energy, four Democratic lawmakers say.

“The problem of doing both of them together is that it becomes too big of a lift,” Senator Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas said in an interview last week. “I see the cap-and-trade being a real problem.”

The resistance by Lincoln and her Senate colleagues undercuts President Barack Obama’s effort to win passage of legislation that would cap carbon dioxide emissions and establish a market for trading pollution allowances, said Peter Molinaro, the head of government affairs for Midland, Michigan- based Dow Chemical Co., which supports the measure.

“Doing these energy provisions by themselves might make it more difficult to move the cap-and-trade legislation,” said Molinaro, who is based in Washington. “In this town if you split two measures, usually the second thing never gets done.”

(I originally posted this at 2050ad.)

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