I agree with Ezra:
I'd be surprised if 20 percent of the country knew cap-and-trade was moving through Congress. There's no popular mobilization for the legislation. That means that the pressure for changes is coming almost entirely from legislators who aren't sure whether they'll vote for it. And that, in turn, means that the pressure is coming entirely from legislators who want to weaken the bill. Claire McCaskill, for instance, twittered, "I hope we can fix cap and trade so it doesn't unfairly punish businesses and families in coal dependent states like Missouri." The point of cap-and-trade, as I understand it, is that it fairly disadvantages people and businesses who are dependent on cheap coal and are harming the atmosphere.
Friday's vote was a tremendous testament to Waxman and Pelosi's capacity to move legislation. But the legislation on climate change is, I fear, further along then the politics. And my concern is that when you look at the state of the bill and the margin of the vote, you're looking more at Waxman and Pelosi's capacity to run the lower chamber than at Congress's readiness to seriously address global warming.
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