14 October 2009

A Silent Revolution

The most remarkable aspect of the evolving U.S. debate over climate legislation is how quickly it is evolving in the direction of Republican policy preferences while Democrats, especially the most left-leaning, are silently accepting this revolution, if not helping it along.

Here is Joe Romm on Republican proposals to expand U.S. oil drilling about one year ago:
This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
This is the way the world ends.
Not with a bang but a chant of “Drill, baby, Drill.”
Apparently Romm believes that now we can save the world from ending through drilling, he writes this week:
. . . we have always drilled, we are drilling now, Congress has repeatedly opened up more acreage to drilling in the last few years, and it's going to open up even more when the price of oil goes back to record levels . . .
And here is Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) and Tom Strickland, an Obama appointee, violently agreeing at a recent Senate hearing on the need to more aggressively pursue conventional energy resources on public lands and offshore:

The climate bill is rapidly moving from a bill that would move money around and do little to reduce emissions, to a bill that will move money around and accommodate a Republican-preferred "all of the above" energy policy that is very carbon intensive. The take over of climate policy by the Republican agenda is the most over-looked aspect of this entire debate. Perhaps those covering the horse race can't see the forest for the trees.

I wonder what will happen if drilling in ANWR were to become an explicit part of the climate bill negotiations? Are left-leaning Democrats willing to give that away in silence as well?

If Republicans want to blow up the bill, they probably just have to press loudly for this provision. However, given how well things are going for them, why would they want to blow it up at all?

Stay tuned.