Citing a lack of Republican support, Senate Democrats abandoned plans, last week, to pass an energy bill with caps on emissions of carbon dioxide.
The demise of, so called, "Cap and Trade" is a significant setback for the Obama Administration, and will likely weaken the U.S. negotiating position at year-end climate talks in Mexico. But that doesn't mean "climate crusaders" have given up on their cause...
This week, the Environmental Protection Agency rejected an effort to prevent it from regulating greenhouse gas emissions, saying that e-mails released in last fall's "Climategate" scandal gave it no reason to reconsider the science of global warming.
Meanwhile a coalition of seven western states and three Canadian provinces offered its own plans to limit emissions hoping it would be a model for national systems in the U.S. and Canada.
And back in Washington, "cap and trade" may be dead, but debate over climate change isn't exactly cooling,,,
Despite setbacks on Capitol Hill, President Obama this week said he still supports climate legislation and will continue to push for it.
Earlier this year, the White House called on the Senate and House to strike a deal on sweeping energy reforms. But lacking the votes needed this election year, Senate Democrats have abandoned the president's goal to cap the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Instead, they plan to pass a scaled-back version in the coming days.
Democrats hope to respond to the oil spill in the Gulf and take steps to improve energy efficiency. But, the Obama administration insists the climate bill is not dead for the year.
President Barack Obama: "That legislation is an important step in the right direction. But I want to emphasize it's only the first step. And I intend to keep pushing for broader reform, including climate legislation, because if we've learned anything from the tragedy in the Gulf, it's that our current energy policy is unsustainable."
The House voted 219-212 last year for a "cap and trade" plan. It featured economic incentives to reduce carbon emissions from power plants, vehicles and other sources. Republicans argued the House Bill was a "national energy tax," saying it would cause higher electricity bills and fuel costs that would lead manufacturers to take their factories overseas.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid accused the GOP of using delay tactics and said no Republican senator was willing to vote for the broader version of the energy bill. This left Democrats shy of the 60 votes needed to pass the measure.