Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tell Warner & Webb: Tackle Clean Energy & Climate Next

Who's happiest about the delay in the rollout of the Senate clean energy & climate bill?
C'mon, Mahmoud. No need to be shy.
See? Told you. Every day we don't put a price on carbon pollution is another day Iran can rake in $100 million thanks to our continuing addiction to oil.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is flirting with postponing debate on the clean energy & climate bill so the Senate can take up immigration reform first. As today's Washington Post editorializes, Sen. Reid's effort to flip the bills may kill them both:
Painstaking negotiations on the substance of a compromise climate bill are nearly complete. Mr. Graham, Mr. Kerry and Mr. Lieberman have gone to extraordinary lengths to attract a coalition of supporters, including environmental groups, electric utilities, businesses, the Christian Coalition and even oil companies. Fence-sitting senators concerned about the bill's effects on manufacturing and American competitiveness seem to be coming around to the idea of pricing carbon. This emerging coalition, backers claim, is still behind the bill.

In contrast, there is no comparable groundwork that would lead to an immigration bill's passage. But at least some Democrats say they believe the politics of immigration reform are more favorable to them than the politics of climate legislation. House Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) faces a tough reelection battle, where a sizable Hispanic population wants to see him make an effort to achieve reform. We understand the politics, and we support immigration reform. If it's possible to accomplish something this year, great. But Mr. Reid and the White House should not allow immigration to push climate change so far down the calendar that it becomes impossible for the Senate to take up. And all parties -- including Mr. Graham -- should keep in mind that the politics of climate change are likely to be harder next year, when Democratic majorities will probably be slimmer. Defeat or postponement now could fracture the coalition behind the effort.
Immigration needs reform & legislation deserves a full debate. But while the House passed the American Clean Energy & Security Act 10 months ago, it hasn't even taken up immigration reform yet. Clean energy & climate is at the goal line, while immigration hasn't even kicked off yet. Let's get clean energy & climate done before moving on to the next issue.

I just called Senators Mark Warner & Jim Webb with a dual message:
Thank you for voting to break the Republican filibuster of Wall Street reform. I know you'll win the fight. Once we've won that battle, it's time to get the job done on clean energy & climate action.
You can reach Sen. Warner's DC office at 202-224-2023 (or call his local office). For Sen. Webb's DC office, call 202-224-4024 (or call his local office).
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