What's This? Potential Widespread GOP Support for Energy Reform?


Image via AZ LD-6 GOP

Doth my eyes deceive me? Why, it would appear that a number of prominent GOP members are, yes, praising the new climate bill, according to a new Reuters story. And not just Lindsey Graham (R-SC)! Yes, rumors that there may be widening support from high profile senators like Scott Brown (MA) and Lamar Alexander (TN). How can that be? Thus far, the party has taken a pretty hard line against energy reform--what gives? Reuters explains:

Senator Lamar Alexander, a member of the Republican leadership in the Senate, praised the sector-by-sector approach in a compromise bill aimed at reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. "I think a sector-by-sector approach makes a lot more sense for dealing with carbon," the Tennessee senator told reporters.
And what did Tea Party star Scott Brown have to say? "I'm open to reading anything that's being proposed" for climate change legislation," he told Reuters. Alrighty then.

Okay, so the news is really that there isn't widespread disgust at the prospect at climate legislation--that despite the utterances of some senators about how health care reform had "poisoned the well" for the rest of the year, there's still some elbow room for bipartisanship. But it's just that--elbow room.

In fact, I'm not really excited by this news at all; I would sort of hate to see how watered-down a bill would have to be to get significant GOP support (no carbon pricing, even more offshore drilling?). What we'd ideally have would be a solid bill that priced carbon, and got four or five R votes, not compromised to the point of being generally ineffective. Plus, the Republicans may only be paying lip service to the idea of energy reform. But at least the GOP is at least making at appear that there's some openness to the idea of energy reform--that's certainly a positive development from a couple weeks ago.

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