If the Climate Bill Dies, Don't Blame John Kerry


Image via Berkeley Square Jazz

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) has become the figurehead for clean energy and climate legislation. After the bizarre unfolding of events with Lindsey Graham, Kerry and Joe Lieberman (I-CT) are left to try to advance the bill through an unreceptive Senate. But today, the insider politics daily Politico has a head-scratching piece about how Kerry is just, well trying too hard, durnit. Here's a snippet from the piece, which is entitled Colleagues cool to Kerry on climate:

John Kerry has been the most aggressive advocate of climate change legislation in the Senate this year -- so aggressive that it's rubbed some of his colleagues the wrong way. The Massachusetts Democrat is making his pitch with an almost religious fervor, pushing a message that's equal parts saving the planet, national security and the economy. Many of his colleagues have been impressed by Kerry's expertise and his passion in trying to push through caps on carbon when others would prefer to move onto a more limited, energy-only bill.
I have an explanation as to why Kerry is pushing the issue so hard, and is reluctant to switch to a near-worthless energy-only bill: he gets it, and his colleagues do not.

He knows that a so-called "energy only" bill would have a severely limited impact on clean energy generation and would do alarmingly little to reign in national carbon emissions. He knows an "energy only" bill would not stop global warming. And his colleagues do not.

Perhaps John Kerry understands not only the historical importance of passing such a bill, but that history would also look kindly at an instrumental player in the legislative battle to preserve a livable climate. His colleagues, those like Sen. Rockefeller, who are "put off" by Kerry's "zeal" surely do not fully understand the threat presented by global climate change. Kerry should be emphatically urging his colleagues to rally behind a clean energy and climate bill -- he should be displaying fervor. The issue, as we know, certainly warrants it.

Which is why I say that if this climate bill dies, as many pundits are predicting, it won't be Kerry's fault.

More on Clean Energy and Climate Bill
Lindsey Graham : I'll Filibuster My Own Climate Bill
Climate Bill Chaos: WTF is Going On?

Tags: Clean Energy | Congress | Global Climate Change | Global Warming Solutions | United States