Senate Dems want cap-and-trade dropped

A group of senators wants the White House to give up the idea of passing legislation next year

Published December 28, 2009 2:50PM (EST)

It's no secret, at this point, that moderate Democrats in the Senate have been a bit of a stumbling block in the way of the White House's agenda this year. So it's not exactly shocking that those same senators should be balking already at the prospect of controversial legislation next year.

Some of them -- like Sens. Evan Bayh, Kent Conrad, Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson -- are looking past healthcare reform and at one of the administration's priorities for 2010: a cap-and-trade bill, written with the goal of reducing the United States' greenhouse gas emissions.

Politico reports Monday that "at at least half a dozen Democrats [have] told the White House or their own leaders that it's time to jettison the centerpiece of their party's plan to curb global warming."

Some of those senators may have true philosophical objections to the idea; for others, there's a bigger problem -- it's an election year. And in a time when economic concerns are dominating environmental ones, that's a problem for those senators worrying about their own jobs. That's especially true in this case, because they know the Republicans are bound to hit hard on the issue, and that many Americans are skeptical about the science behind global warming.

By Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

MORE FROM Alex Koppelman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Global Warming U.s. Senate War Room