Image via the Guardian
The day has finally come--the much-discussed, much-derided, and much-needed climate bill will be up for a vote on Friday the 23rd. Tensions are running high in the House, as many Representatives are still undecided on which way they'll cast their votes--and that uncertainty is sure to snowball until Friday, as environmentalists around the world wait to see what happens. And a lot can.The one thing that does seem to be certain is the fact that the bill is heading to the floor of the House this Friday--so sayeth Nancy Pelosi. From Bloomberg:
The U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on a proposed "cap-and-trade" law to cut greenhouse gas emissions by the end of this week, a spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi said. "There are some issues still under discussion, but we are confident we can resolve them by the time the bill goes to the floor on Friday," Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said by e-mail.
Among the biggest 'issues still under discussion' is whether the bill is fair to farmers and those that live in rural areas. The House Agriculture Committee Chairman, Collin Peterson is the leading voice of dissent on the issue--too bad that this man, who could possibly halt the climate bill, doesn't even really understand how climate change works.
Coal state Democrats don't seem to be making as much noise lately, but that could be because the climate bill was revised to give business a break, and the gov would be handing out coal-related pollutions permits largely for free.
What will happen come Friday is still very much up in the air--despite Pelosi's confidence (which I wish I shared), it's hard to imagine the bill sailing through the House. With the agriculture, coal, and oil industries (and their army of lobbyists) still largely unsatisfied, Democrats who represent regions where each is present may not be swayed by the party line. And that's without even mentioning the Republicans, who are expected to produce nary a single vote for the bill.
Needless to say, all environmental eyes will be on Congress this Friday. It should be quite a day.
More on the Climate Bill:
Senate Committee OKs "Alternative" Climate Bill—and Offshore Drilling, Clean Coal, and New Gas Pipeline
Republicans Unveil Their Own Climate Bill
Obama on Climate Bill: "We Will Get It Done. And I Will Sign It."