The Biggest Threat to the Democrats' Climate Bill: Democrats
Photo via Track-a-Crat
After the first major victory in the chaotic saga of the Waxman-Markey climate bill, the next—and potentially biggest—threat has quickly revealed itself. The Democrats' climate bill had hardly passed through committee before another House Representative was threatening to bring the bill down, claiming the ability to quickly rally 40 votes against it. And no, it's not Republican nay-saying that now poses the biggest threat to the climate bill—it's other Democrats.See, many Democrats from rural districts are worried that the bill would end up putting a burden on agriculture. According to Politico:
On a fundamental level, lawmakers from farm states argue the legislation
will lead to higher oil and gas prices, making feed, fertilizer and fuel more expensive for farmers and ranchers. Peterson also has major reservations about establishing a carbon market, arguing it would give Wall Street traders disproportionate influence over energy prices.
The Democrat leading the charge is Agriculture Chairman Collin Peterson, and
The independent Minnesota Democrat says he can produce more than 40 "no" votes against the bill on his own side of the aisle, posing a very real threat to Waxman and the speaker because few, if any, Republicans are expected to support the legislation when it comes to the House floor.
Peterson has agreed to meet with Speaker Pelosi and Henry Waxman, the bill's co-author to discuss concerns—but he doesn't seem optimistic. Add Peterson to the list of other obstacles the bill faces: the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee has threatened to hold up the bill until health reform is passed, not to mention the entire gauntlet of massively conflicting interests that is the Senate.
Considering that few-to-no Republicans are expected to vote for the bill, rallying Democratic support is crucial—which is why these vocal dissenters are likely to be the biggest threat to the climate bill going forward.