Robert Byrd’s Senate replacement Carte Goodwin, who was chief counsel to Gov. Joe Manchin and will now be his seatholder until the Democrat executive can complete his transition to Washington, announced Friday he would not support energy legislation that includes carbon caps. Politico reports:
“From what I’ve seen, they are simply not right for West Virginia,” Goodwin said at a press conference after (Manchin) announced his appointment. “I will not support any piece of legislation that threatens any West Virginia job or any West Virginia family.”
Not likely to represent progress for Majority Leader Harry Reid, despite a letter to him from 12 freshmen Democrats urging passage of a comprehensive climate/energy bill:
Byrd had been sending strong signals over the last year that he could vote for a bill that places a price on greenhouse gas emissions.”West Virginians can choose to anticipate change and adapt to it, or resist and be overrun by it,” he said last December.
But Manchin has said he opposes the House-passed climate bill and the Senate versions that so far have emerged. And West Virginia Sen. John Rockefeller (D) has also spoken up more aggressively in recent weeks about his opposition to such measures.
“It’s common knowledge, there’s a sub-level of conversation on pretty much all parts, which recognizes that cap and trade cannot get 60 votes,” Rockefeller told reporters earlier this week.
But what about that Democrat lame-duck strategy John Fund reported about earlier this month?
…there have been signs in recent weeks that party leaders are planning an ambitious, lame-duck session to muscle through bills in December they don’t want to defend before November. Retiring or defeated members of Congress would then be able to vote for sweeping legislation without any fear of voter retaliation.
“I’ve got lots of things I want to do” in a lame duck, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D., W. Va.) told reporters in mid June….
Mike Allen of Politico.com reports one reason President Obama failed to mention climate change legislation during his recent, Oval Office speech on the Gulf oil spill was that he wants to pass a modest energy bill this summer, then add carbon taxes or regulations in a conference committee with the House, most likely during a lame-duck session. The result would be a climate bill vastly more ambitious, and costly for American consumers and taxpayers, than moderate “Blue Dogs” in the House would support on the campaign trail.
Will horse trading and arm-twisting produce a positive vote from the West Virginians and other cap-and-trade holdouts? Maybe David Blaine can be called in for pain tolerance advice.