Friday, November 05, 2010

Greens desperate to avoid blame for Dem losses

Environmentalists are trying to stomp out the suggestion that they had anything to do with the tidal wave that washed away House Democrats in Tuesday's midterm elections. A day after Republicans netted a 60-vote swing to recapture the House, greens brandished polls and statistics showing voters overwhelmingly endorsed both Democratic and GOP lawmakers who voted in June 2009 to pass a cap-and-trade bill. This isn't just about pride. Environmental groups struggled to be heard in Washington after the Republicans' 1994 House takeover, which came in part because of a vote the previous year to raise energy taxes based on the Btu content of fossil fuels. And U.S. opponents of unilateral action on climate change still remind them of the unanimous 1997 Senate vote to reject core pieces of the Kyoto protocol. "It's very dangerous branding for them," said Chris Horner, a senior fellow at the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute and a skeptic on global warming science. "There will never be another vote on a Btu tax in my lifetime for the reason of 1993. I suggest if cap and trade is similarly thought of, there will also never be a vote on cap and trade." Indeed, directly after the cap-and-trade vote — which itself was delayed for an hour while Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) held the floor to decry the bill — House Republicans taunted Democrats with chants of "Btu, Btu."...more

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