GOP’s Plan to Fight Climate Bill: Summertime Gas Prices « The Washington Independent
Recalling last year’s success fighting the Democrats’ plans to stem offshore oil drilling, House Republicans are eyeing the likely hike in summertime gas costs as an ally in their battle against looming climate change legislation, which the Democrats want to take up in July. From The Hill:
The Democrats’ plan of moving a cap-and-trade bill this summer plays into GOP hands because as the cost of gasoline spikes, so does the public’s awareness of energy prices, Republican leadership aides say.
Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.), the former House GOP conference chairman, said that the cost of gas is not likely to hit last summer’s national high of $4 a gallon, but he noted that oil prices have been creeping up recently.
Putnam said most Americans want to increase oil production, not restrict consumption, adding, “At some point, gas prices become a very potent political weapon again.”
There are few truisms in the land of Washington policy-making, where messaging is king and success often slave to public perception. But one is this: In times of economic downturn, the financial health of both people and industries will trump environmental concerns 99 times out of 100. And, as Democrats learned the hard way last summer, Americans faced with $4 a gallon gas have little appetite for policies that threaten to drive those costs higher — a more tangible effect than climate change for most folks.
Perhaps the Democrats want to rethink their legislative calendar?