Scott Brown's Election "Energizes" Clean Energy Reform


Photo via USA Today

If you thought the climate bill was dead in the water after Scott Brown's election, think again. Brown has only served to "energize" the climate bill talks--talks led by the 'tripartisan' group of John Kerry, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman. Last Friday, I dithered on about whether Brown's election may actually have helped climate reform--I ultimately cast off that conclusion, but now I'm not so sure. My longshot hunch may have more basis than I thought. Here's why certain signs show things are looking better for the climate bill.After Brown's surprise victory, everyone talked about how energy reform was likely dead--but as a good New York Times editorial over the weekend pointed out, this is defeatist thinking. What it really meant is that pro-energy reform senators had to get motivated, ramp up their arguments in favor of a climate bill--which include the goldmines of creating jobs and cutting dependence of foreign oil--and finally, to get ready to compromise.

And that's just what they've done. From the Boston Globe:

The election of Scott Brown as Kerry's colleague has added urgency to the negotiations for a compromise, which would include the Democrats' goal of limiting carbon emissions while encouraging development of nuclear power, subsidizing coal mining, and drilling for off-shore oil.
The article details how the tripartisan crew met with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel and then a vice president of the US Chamber of Commerce--which said they were "on the same page".

So by forcing Kerry back to the drawing board, he's likely going to make the bill more Republican-friendly--which some greens will no doubt hate. But if some offshore drilling and nuclear power entitlements get us comprehensive energy reform, along with a cap and trade system to limit greenhouse gas emissions, I'd argue that it's still worth doing (though I know many who'd argue against it). We need to get energy reform rolling as soon as possible, both to give some juice to our domestic clean energy sector, and for the sake of forging progress on the world stage.

Let's hope Scott Brown gave the climate bill enough energy to get it through the Senate this spring.

More on the Senate Climate Bill
The 5-Minute Guide to the Senate Climate Bill
Know the 7 Key Senators in the Climate Bill Battle

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