Wednesday, June 30, 2010

president obama cannot break energy stalemate


Video - Obama on Alternative Energy

Guardian | Barack Obama's hopes of leveraging public anger at the Gulf oil spill into political support for his clean energy agenda fell flat today after he failed to rally a group of Democratic and Republican senators around broad energy and climate change law.

The standoff suggests the Senate would formally give up on climate change law, and recast energy reform as a Gulf oil spill response, that would roll in far more limited proposals such as a green investment bank, or a measure to limit greenhouse gas emissions that would apply only to electricity companies.

Such a move would come as a personal rebuff to Obama who has put energy and climate change at the top of his agenda, and who called on the 23 senators at the White House meeting to establish a cap and trade system.

"The president was very clear about putting a price on carbon and limiting greenhouse gas emissions," John Kerry, the Democratic senator leading the push for climate change proposals in the Senate said after the meeting.

"He was very strong about the need to put a price on carbon and make polluters pay," said senator Joe Lieberman.

White House officials say the spill is a wake-up call for the urgency of breaking the US economy's dependence on fossil fuels, and had hoped to build momentum behind a cap-and-trade bill now before the Senate.

Supporters of action on climate change had been pressing Obama to make a strong push for legislation.