(Also at OC Progressive & Nevada Progressive)
Late last week, we found out that Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee Chair Barbara Boxer (D-CA) wants to delay her committee’s vote on the Senate climate & energy bill and move it to September. And furthermore, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) supports this move as he’ll have more time to round up votes. However, we don’t really know if this is good news or bad news.
The delay bodes ill for passing a climate bill this year. It shows leaders are not confident they would have enough votes to pass the bill and want as much time as possible to rally support. Boxer also noted that many key senators with a role in crafting climate policy are also leading the debate over health care, another major congressional priority for this year.
[…] Several environmental groups have written in to say that they think today’s announcement is good news for climate legislation.
“We don’t think that this is a problem at all,” said Josh Dorner, spokesman for Sierra Club. “In fact, we think it’s a good thing. It’s a huge organizing opportunity, both here in D.C. and in the field. It also shows they are taking the time to make some meaningful, positive changes to the bill.”
Environmental Defense Fund was equally optimistic. “From our perspective, this is the right decision,” said Tony Kreindler, media director for climate at EDF. “It gives senators more time to review and understand the historic bill just passed by the House. It signals a serious intent to seek agreements on key issues going forward. And it gives Boxer and her colleagues on both sides of the aisle more time to reach those agreements. After all, the chairman has the ability to move forward today if the goal were simply to push any bill through.”
Honestly, I don’t mind the delay that much… So long as this delay results in a stronger bill with more votes in time for the international climate change summit in Copenhagen this December. Let me explain my thoughts some more after the flip.