Senators Draw Battle Lines on Cap-and-Trade « The Washington Independent
The Senate’s first hearing on climate legislation since the House passed the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act is underway. And unlike in much of the House debate, there’s little pretense of bipartisanship thus far in the Senate discussion.
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) opened the hearing with a shot at her colleagues across the aisle. “Today, I expect you will hear fierce words of doubt and fear and worse from the other side of the aisle regarding our legislative efforts to move forward with clean energy jobs legislation,” she said. “This is consistent with a pattern of ‘No, we can’t.’”
Committee ranking member James Inhofe (R-Okla.) countered, “You can be sure of this: once the American public realizes what this legislation will do to their wallets, they will resoundingly reject it.”
None of the so-called swing senators on this legislation — with the possible but unlikely exception of Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio) — are present at the hearing right now, so I don’t think we’ll be seeing much common ground between the two sides in this debate.
But on the plus side, in keeping with the GOP’s newfound love of inscrutable charts, Sen. Kit Bond’s (R-Mo.) staff just pulled out the hearing’s first inscrutable chart. It’s a huge blue webbed number with the title “Waxman-Markey: A Bureaucratic Nightmare.”
More updates to come.
Update (as promised): Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), reading from his opening remarks, just stumbled over the GOP’s word of choice to describe the administration’s global warming fears. “A-pa-ca… A-pa … A-pa-ca…” he attempted, emphasizing the first syllable, confusing himself in the process and reddening visibly. A chorus of senators and audience members came to his aid. “Apocalyptic,” they said in unison.