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The Devil Is in the Details

Obama is encountering difficulty with his own party on the “public option” for healthcare. But that’s nothing compared to what’s going on with cap-and-trade. It seems Democrats have figured out (more or less) what’s in the legislation and there is something for everyone to dislike:

Democratic allies remain at odds over provisions of a House climate bill and a Senate energy bill, even as congressional leaders and Obama administration officials are pressing to complete work on the legislation.

The latest rough patch came late Thursday afternoon when House Agriculture Committee Chairman  Collin C. Peterson (D-Minn.) met with the two chief sponsors of a climate bill to hash out differences in the office of  House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). After more than an hour, they emerged without an agreement, gave reporters curt expressions of optimism and left without taking questions.

[. . .]

The differences over touchstone issues in the bill could jeopardize its chances of passage by the full Senate, where  Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) is threatening to filibuster it over the provisions for drilling off the Florida coast. Major environmental organizations are also leaning toward opposing the bill. In addition, executives from companies in the wind turbine business are lobbying hard for stiffer renewable energy requirements, arguing that they would be better off with requirements that have already been enacted by 28 states.

And there are fights over the bill’s impact on agriculture as well as provisions on nuclear power, the renewable electricity standard, and coal. Then there are the Republicans who don’t like any of it — the mind-numbing regulation, the taxes or the compliance costs on state and local government and private industry.

That leaves an open question: who is for this other than Rep. Henry Waxman and environmentalists from non-energy producing states? Come to think of it, I haven’t heard Obama give a speech in favor of it. Perhaps its only utility was as a funding mechanism for healthcare. Which raises yet another question: if cap-and-trade crashes and burns won’t they still need hundreds of billions of dollars in additional revenue to pay for healthcare?


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