Lame Duck Carbon Rationing?

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The Democratic leadership in the Senate dropped its efforts to pass legislation mandating carbon rationing in the form of a cap-and-trade scheme last month. Facing a contentious election this November in which the Democrats could lose their majority in the House of Representatives and reduce their membership in the Senate, a climate change bill is unlikely to be brought up before November. But what about after the election in November?

Appearing on NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, director of the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy Carol Browner was asked about how the administration might proceed on carbon rationing. From the transcript:

MR. GREGORY:  Final question here.  The president said, in his address to the nation, this, about climate change legislation.

(Videotape, June 15, 2010)

PRES. OBAMA:  The tragedy unfolding on our coast is the most painful and powerful reminder yet that the time to embrace a clean energy future is now.  …  The one approach I will not accept is inaction.  The one answer I will not settle for is the idea that this challenge is somehow too big and too difficult to meet.

(End videotape)

MR. GREGORY:  He said he won't settle for inaction, and yet, there is inaction.

MS. BROWNER:  Right.

MR. GREGORY:  Is it failure?

MS. BROWNER:  We're deeply disappointed that we were not able to get clean energy legislation.  There's a tremendous opportunity for our country to lead the global clean energy revolution.  But that requires us to put in place the, the right laws, the right signals so that we build the wind turbines here, we build the solar panels, then we can ship them to China.  We're in danger of losing out.

MR. GREGORY:  I understand the arguments.  The president drew a line in the sand there.  Is he conceding defeat on this?

MS. BROWNER:  Not yet.  The Congress is coming back.  We will continue to see if we can get legislation.  We passed it in the House.  We'll continue to work in the Senate.

MR. GREGORY:  Lame duck session, they could do it potentially there.

MS. BROWNER:  Potentially.

MR. GREGORY:  All right, we'll, we'll be watching.  Carol Browner, thank you very much as always.

Potentially, indeed. What would defeated Democrats have to lose from a kamikaze policy dive on this issue after the election?

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  1. They would still have to get a Republican onboard plus Ben Nelson plus some others from coal-producing states.

    1. Snowe, Collins, and Brown are all likely defectors, unfortunately.

      1. but you also likely have both of the WV senators, possibly the VA and PA dems going against. You also have some that will likely not want to push another controverisial issue after the election if they get their buts kicked. And on the Republican side, why would you defect when you know in 30 days you will have the opportunity to have more power in shappiong whatever happens. Unless the Maine ladies and/or Brown really want cap and trade, and its not just a way to “look moderate” there is no reason for them to do so in December.

        Also, I may be incorrect, but if Mike Castle gets elected, though hes another liberal republican, he will be seated immediately because its technically a special election. So the GOP will have 42 in the lame duck.

      2. So is Voinovich, as he is retiring.

  2. What would undefeated Democrats (especially Senators who didn’t have to run in 2010) have to gain from a kamikaze policy dive on this issue after the election?

  3. MS. BROWNER: Not yet. The Congress is coming back. We will continue to see if we can get legislation. We passed it in the House. We’ll continue to work in the Senate.

    Even if a snake is dead, it can still bite…

    1. Yes, even if one chops its head off.

  4. What would defeated Democrats have to lose from a kamikaze policy dive on this issue after the election?

    They won’t all be defeated. Many will hold on to office by the skin of their teeth and will balk at destroying their chances in 2012.

    1. Two years is a long time. The state of the economy in 2012 is going to have a lot more to do with their reelection chances than some obscure technical vote back in Dec 2010 will.

  5. What would defeated Democrats have to lose from a kamikaze policy dive on this issue after the election?

    Grid willing, the Democrat Party as a viable entity.

  6. It has been refered to as a mad duck session rather than a lame duck.

  7. So this lady thinks that if Congress gets its act together that we will be able to build a manufacturing industry in green energy technology that will be a net exporter to China?

    She can’t be that stupid, can she? Maybe I’m reading this wrong.

    1. Benkman: That is true. That woman has no brain.

    2. “But that requires us to put in place the, the right laws, the right signals so that we build the wind turbines here, we build the solar panels, then we can ship them to China. ”

      She said it.

      1. Sigh. They’d have to repeal the Clean Air Act, disband the EPA, and pay 12 year olds $0.30/hr to be competitive. Although we could probably get a discount on shipping tonnage.

    3. She worked for Al Gore. Is there anything else you need to know???

      1. Did she give him hand jobs?

        1. Probably a massage or two . . . That’s what he likes.

      2. Is that what happened to his First Chakra?

    4. This*10^73

      Even accepting the fairytale possibility that we could ever compete with China’s enormous mfg advantage, we’d be trying to sell them a product they don’t even want!

      “Hey, Chinaman, stop pissin on my rug and buy our Quality American Solar Panels. Only 10-20x more expensive per kWHr than you current coal plants.”

      “No thanks. Oh, and about that money I lent you…”

  8. We wouldn’t have to worry about this if we had a Republican in office. Unfortunately, some people thought giving one party control of both houses and the presidency was a good idea.

    1. Fuck, that was supposed to be my troll handle. Move along, nothing to see here.

      1. Oh, it’s too late. We have seen.

  9. Try to get rid of us, will ya! We’ll make you pay for that! Uh… literally.

  10. Duck Carbon

    Hm. Could one make carbonades flamandes with duck instead of beef?

  11. “What would defeated Democrats have to lose from a kamikaze policy dive on this issue after the election?”

    Their lives?

  12. Dave Weigel and Mickey Kaus were having a little bit of a spat over the whole idea of a ridiculous lame duck session passing stuff.

    Weigel, of course, was arguing in print that the GOP and conservatives were crazy and irresponsible to bring up such concerns, because all his sources were saying that the Democrats wouldn’t dare do this in reality. Kaus replied that even if that’s so, one reason that they won’t do it is because the GOP would make such hay out of it, and furthermore the Democrats (all the way up to the top) deserve equal blame for pumping up the possibility to their base at their own conventions.

    Just annoying to see Weigel basically write: “How dare those Republicans play politics by pretending to take Democrats at their word, instead of being nice because they know that the Democrats are only playing politics and will do the responsible thing in the end.”

    1. Just like Obamacare being “deemed to have pssed”

    2. Now that Weigel isn’t constrained by the need to appear anything other that a prog Obamatron, it really makes you wonder how anyone was taken in by his libertarian/contrarian schtick.

      1. Well, Kaus’s argument is that Weigel is still constrained, by the fact that mocking the Dems doesn’t get hits on Slate, unlike mocking the GOP.

        Kaus got Weigel to admit that more mockery of the Dems on the issue would be reasonable.

        Dave’s just a guy who trims his sails as necessary in order to fit in. He’s “contrarian” only where it’s cool to be contrarian, the equivalent of being a rebel in exactly the same way as all your high school friends.

        1. It’s incredible. Weigel basically worked his way into lefty journalism by a string of articles about Orly Taitz, but now claims conservatives are out of line when they take Harry Reid somewhat seriously.

        2. In regards to Thacker’s link:

          Jesus fucking Christ twitter sucks ass!!

          I can’t make heads or tails of what is being said in that mess.

          1. Insert “Weigel says he’s voting for Obama” quote here.

      2. it really makes you wonder how anyone was taken in by his libertarian/contrarian schtick.

        I haven’t looked or research or anything but does anyone remember an article he wrote here that was libertarian and contrary to the left?

  13. Carol Browner is a worthless POS.

    Recently on one of the C-SPAN channels, I saw an author who wrote a book debunking all the “green jobs” crap and the other government energy power grabs. He quoted something that Browner said in an interview to the effect that the government would start limiting the amount of electricy that homeowners could use. She said that people could still cool their homes but maybe not as much as they would like to.

    In other words, she wants to ration everyone’s electricty use based on her own statist preferences.

  14. What The Gobbler said:

    https://reason.com/blog/2010/08…..nt_1840030

  15. Have all incumbent Democrats up for reelection, especially Harry Reid, asked if they will pledge not to introduce or vote for significant policy legislation, specifically carbon rationing, during the ‘lame duck’ period.

    1. The Repubs are asking for a resolution to that effect.

      The Dems are refusing.

      Make of that what you will.

    2. That would be just as effective as Obama saying he won’t raise taxes.

      The progs want cap and trade, for whatever reason, and will pass it, either in a lame duck session in November, or at their leisure over the next two years should they keep both houses.

      In other words, this threat is meaningless, it’s not like they won’t pass it if they keep both houses.

  16. What does an administration official have to do with what the Senate is going to do? It sounds like wishful thinking to me.

  17. Republicans hardly have the high ground, seeing that they used one of THEIR lame duck sessions to impeach the president. Nothing quite so ugly and insidious as protecting the human species from runaway global warming, of course.

    1. Re: Tony,

      Republicans hardly have the high ground, seeing that they used one of THEIR lame duck sessions to impeach the president.

      That may be true. How about us who are not Republirat-Statists or Demagogue-Statists? Do we get to have the high ground?

      Nothing quite so ugly and insidious as protecting the human species from runaway global warming, of course.

      The ugly and insidious part is that the government pretends to command and control the economy under the guise of protecting the human species from runaway global warming. I would hate to see what would the government try if they pressumed to protect us from the sun going nova (as unlikely as AGW and that’s saying a lot.)

  18. I see Tony is still trying to impersonate a sentient being.

  19. Of course, in 1998, the Republicans only lost a handful of seats and retained a majority, so parallels to 2010 are premature at best.

    1. Yeah if the Democrats retain control of the House then they really are not lame ducks.

      You have to be leaving office to be a lame duck.

  20. What is the White House Office of Energy and Climate Change Policy?

    Carol Browner used to be chief of the EPA. Is it a promotion, a demotion or a lateral move for her to become director of the WHOECCP?

    Are all these stovepipe operations an invention of the G.W. Bush administration? From Clinton I remember Hillary and Ira Magaziner, but I don’t recall the Clinton Admin having so many extra-cabinet titles, offices and honorifics. How much do all these Czars and their staffs get paid?

  21. but I don’t recall the Clinton Admin having so many extra-cabinet titles, offices and honorifics.

    It is not all that bad. In my fantasy libertopian world President Root could fill all those positions with ringers who sole job would be to recommend tens thousands of bureaucrats to be fired from their various agencies.

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