How the Climate Debate Is Shaping Up

Columnists warn that the battle over the climate change bill could make the health care debate look friendly

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Lobbyists, special interests, and fierce partisan politics. For months, columnists have chronicled their crippling effects on the push to overhaul the health care system. And now, some say the climate change bill could be in for the same treatment, angry town halls and all. Columnists say there are warning signs that the most comprehensive environmental legislation in years--a bill complete with a "cap-and-trade provision and regulations to derive 15 percent of the nation's electricity from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2020--" could die in the Senate. Here's why the war over climate change could look a lot like the battle over health care.

  • Environmentalists Are Struggling to Find Their Sales Pitch, writes David A. Fahrenthold at The Washington Post. "And they are facing an opposition with tycoon money and a gift for political stagecraft."
  • ... While the Energy Lobby Has Perfected Its Message, writes Kevin Drum at Mother Jones. "Just as warnings of a 'government takeover' were the core of the anti-health care pitch, 'cap-and-tax' is the core of the anti-climate pitch. It's simple and effective, and it works because there's a kernel of truth to it."
  • Already, the Democrats Are Hedging and Compromising, says Christopher Beam at Slate. "Sound familiar?" he asked. "That's right: Senators are beginning to suggest the same solution for health care reform. Tease apart the easy stuff (requiring insurance companies to provide coverage) from the hard stuff (the public option), the thinking goes, and vulnerable members of Congress won't get as bruised."
  • Ted Kennedy Was the Bill's Biggest Supporter, says the Grist blog at The Guardian. "There's one clear and simple impact of Kennedy's death late Tuesday night: The push for a climate-change bill in the Senate lost a reliable supporter." And Grist says the bill, "needs absolutely every vote it can get."
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.