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Simply put - - very little.

On June 26, the American Clean Energy and Security Act passed the House 219 to 212 in a partisan vote that saw 44 Democratic representatives vote against the bill.  8 Republican representatives crossed party lines and voted for it.  By the time Waxman-Markey bill got out of committee, it was a very different animal – loaded down with compromises, exceptions, and special favors.  It was so compromised that Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth urged progressive representatives to vote against it.

In fact, Dennis Kucinich and Pete DeFazio voted against the bill because it had become so bloated.  DeFazio stated:

"There’s an unholy alliance of big business, some environmental groups and Wall Street" backing cap-and-trade, said DeFazio, comparing the scheme to the deregulation of the electricity markets that ultimately led to soaring rates in some states. "Wall Street is excited about another thinly regulated market."

Here is a map of House members who voted contrary to their parties' position:

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And a list in a more usable form:

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Here is a map of senators who come from states that voted for the other party's candidate in presidential elections:

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Eight Democratic senators are almost certain to oppose ACES:

West Virginia – Robert Byrd
West Virginia – Jay Rockefeller
Alaska – Mark Begich
Louisiana – Mary Landrieu
Montana – Max Baucus
Montana – Jon Tester
North Dakota – Kent Conrad
North Dakota – Byron Dorgan

These senators all come from states that produce coal, oil, and/or natural gas.  None of these states has voted Democratic in the past three presidential elections.  Both of West Virginia’s Democratic representatives voted against ACES as well as Louisiana’s lone Democratic representative.  Correct – Louisiana only has one Democratic Congressman, despite the national Democratic sweep.  Begich only barely defeated a severely-tarnished Ted Stevens.  Baucus, Tester, Conrad, and Dorgan also represent agricultural interests that are skeptical of ACES, as well.

There are five more Democratic senators who come from states that are Republican trending:

Nebraska – Ben Nelson
South Dakota – Tim Johnson
Arkansas – Blanche Lincoln
Arkansas – Mark Pryor
Missouri – Claire McCaskill

Although these are not major energy-producing states, their Democratic senators are very Blue Dog.  McCaskill has been one of Obama’s strongest supporters, but she has consistently tried to distance herself from the Democratic left.  Again, not one of these senators’ home states voted Democratic in presidential elections since 2000.  Nebraska and South Dakota are bedrock GOP at the presidential level.  Arkansas and Missouri have trended increasingly red since the Clinton years.

Then there are another eight Democratic senators – most recently elected - from states that have voted Republican in presidential elections with the exception of 2008.

Virginia – Mark Warner
Virginia – Jim Webb
Colorado – Mark Udall
Colorado – Michael Bennet
North Carolina – Kay Hagan
Ohio – Sherrod Brown
Indiana – Evan Bayh
Florida – Bill Nelson

Only Mark Udall is philosophically inclined towards supporting ACES.  Warner and Webb have worked to reduce coal-fired plant emissions, but support coal generation.  Bennet is an unknown, but faces Colorado voters in 2010 without presidential coattails.  Hagan has shown ample Blue Dog feathers, already.  Brown is sensitive both to Ohio coal production as well as energy-intensive industries in his home state.  Bayh is openly hostile to many of the provisions of the House version of ACES.

And there are two more Democratic senators to consider:

Pennsylvania – Bob Casey
Pennsylvania – Arlen Specter

Although Pennsylvania has voted reliably Democratic in the past 5 presidential elections and although Pennsylvania had more House seats switch from Republican to Democratic than any other state in the past four years, Pennsylvania also had more Democratic House members vote against the ACES bill than any other state.  Pennsylvania remains a significant coal producer.  Pennsylvania still has energy-intensive industries that are likely to be negatively impacted by ACES.  And Pennsylvania has significant refinery capacity that will be impacted by ACES legislation.

What about Republicans?
Only four possible Republican crossover votes are out there.  

Maine – Olympia Snowe
Maine – Susan Collins
New Hampshire – Judd Gregg
Iowa – Charles Grassley

But Republicans are ideologically opposed to the American Clean Energy and Security Act, so such crossovers are unlikely.  Only Gregg faces a reelection this fall in a state that is trending blue.  Grassley faces reelection, too – but since corn ethanol is targeted in the ACES legislation, he may gain support by opposing it.  Snowe and Collins are free to make their own decisions – which they usually do anyway.


Where will the Democrats get 60 votes for cloture?

Even if one assumes that Al Franken is seated prior to the energy debate in the Senate, finding 60 votes will be well nigh impossible for Harry Reid.  And Reid is looking forward to the energy bill as much as someone looks forward to a root canal.  Nuclear power remained outside of the House version of the legislation, but any Senate bill that might get 60 votes for cloture will involve some ugly compromises.  Support of expanded nuclear power is likely to be on the table.  More nuclear means more pressure for Yucca Mountain.  And that is the last thing Reid wants to bring up.

Could Reid even get the 50 votes necessary for the passage – with Joe Biden’s tiebreaker - of an ACES bill in the Senate?  That is doubtful in its current configuration.  In order to gain the support of energy state senators, the Senate energy bill would have to include so many structural compromises that it would be almost unrecognizable.  The trickle of environmental groups that opposed the House version would become a flood.  Thus, to accommodate energy state senators, Reid would likely lose support from more progressive East Coast and West Coast senators.

I suspect that Harry Reid will allow the energy bill to die in committee rather than risk embarrassment on the floor.  Such is the fate of all such legislation.  There will be a "heroic" fight with many sound bites for the media.  But in the long run, there will be no American Clean Energy and Security Act on President Obama’s desk.

Originally posted to johnnygunn on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 09:04 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Zilch! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Harry said this bill will die in the senate!

    •  Actually - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Populista, Mother Shipper

      This is what he said after House passage -

      "The bill is not perfect, but it is a good product for the Senate," Reid said. "Working with the president and his team, I am hopeful that the Senate will be able to debate and pass bipartisan and comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation this fall."

      What he means may be something entirely different.

      •  I believe they will water it down (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        immensely and that it will end up looking nothing like ACES. Congress has to at least pretend to be on the way to passing or actually pass something as we head into Copenhagen in december.

        "The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn." --Gloria Steinem

        by Cleopatra on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 01:40:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good roundup. the point about the bloated (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnnygunn, Mother Shipper

    bill is good, in that a) it creates exceptions that make the bill less worthy and b) gives plenty of cover to people who can say they don't like it because it's big and complicated and unknowable and therefore scary.

    Gov. Sanford is hiking the Appalachian Trail, and Franco is home nursing a head cold.

    by Inland on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 09:12:10 AM PDT

  •  I suspect that the purists might be right (3+ / 0-)

    on this one.  

    ACES may be a decent bill if the EPA had no jurisdiction to regulate carbon emissions to prevent climate change.  But the Supreme Court ruled two years ago that the EPA can unilaterally put in regulations.  This bill actually takes away that power, and replace it with a cap-and-trade system which makes it a worse bill than the status quo.

    The correct solution is for Obama's EPA to put very stringent regulations on carbon emissions unilaterally, and the coal and oil companies can eat shit.  If Congress tries to take away that power, well Obama can veto it, and there are enough to prevent an override.

    If we want a cap-and-trade bill, we can get a much better one.  Obama has the upper hand here, he can threaten to unilaterally regulate carbon emissions through the EPA.

    •  what about the epa's current attempt (0+ / 0-)

      to mandate disclosure of emissions? Would that be affected by this bill the way it is now? It seems as if the epa is making progress towards standardized disclosure at the very least.

      "The first problem for all of us, men and women, is not to learn, but to unlearn." --Gloria Steinem

      by Cleopatra on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 01:44:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  tipped and rec'd, with my predictions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Senator Inhofe said that Dems have is 34 votes right now... let's see if he's right:

    Highly probable votes:
    Akaka (D-HI)
    Bennet (D-CO)
    Bingaman (D-NM)
    Boxer (D-CA)
    Burris (D-IL)
    Cantwell (D-WA)
    Cardin (D-MD)
    Casey (D-PA)
    Dodd (D-CT)
    Durbin (D-IL)
    Feingold (D-WI)
    Feinstein (D-CA)
    Franken (D-MN)
    Gillibrand (D-NY)
    Inouye (D-HI)
    Kaufman (D-DE)
    Kennedy (D-MA)
    Kerry (D-MA)
    Klobuchar (D-MN)
    Kohl (D-WI)
    Lautenberg (D-NJ)
    Leahy (D-VT)
    Levin (D-MI)
    Lieberman (ID-CT)
    Menendez (D-NJ)
    Merkley (D-OR)
    Mikulski (D-MD)
    Murray (D-WA)
    Reed (D-RI)
    Reid (D-NV)
    Sanders (I-VT)
    Schumer (D-NY)
    Shaheen (D-NH)
    Stabenow (D-MI)
    Udall (D-CO)
    Udall (D-NM)
    Whitehouse (D-RI)
    Wyden (D-OR)

    Count: 38.

    Probable votes:
    Brown (D-OH)
    Carper (D-DE)
    Hagan (D-NC)
    Harkin (D-IA)
    Johnson (D-SD)
    McCaskill (D-MO)
    Nelson (D-FL)
    Specter (D-PA)
    Warner (D-VA)
    Webb (D-VA)

    Count: 48.

    Swing votes:
    Bayh (D-IN)
    Collins (R-ME)
    Conrad (D-ND)
    Dorgan (D-ND)
    Pryor (D-AR)
    Snowe (R-ME)

    Count: 54.

    Less likely but possible:
    Baucus (D-MT)
    Lincoln (D-AR)
    McCain (R-AZ)
    Tester (D-MT)

    Count: 58

    So I got 58 possible votes, and you never know... we could pick off Begich and Rockefeller. We'll see I guess...

    •  You List - (0+ / 0-)

      But you offer not reasoning behind the list.

      Unless he doesn't want to get reelected.
      Did you notice how West Virginia Dems voted in the House?

      And Pennsylvania?
      4 Penna Dems voted against the House ACES.
      And you say Casey is a lock?
      Specter as probable?

      Perhaps you are not aware that North Dakota is the 7th largest coal/oil/gas producer. Not to mention agriculture which, unfortunately, is highly energy intensive.

      Very, very rosy prediction.

    •  I'm wondering... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ... what might happen to the bill before the Senate votes on it.  And then there's the Conference.  Diary doesn't mention Bingaman, but he's probably an important gatekeeper in that process.

      The river always wins. -- Mark Twain

      by Land of Enchantment on Tue Jun 30, 2009 at 08:15:57 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I wonder fi reality might hit home (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I said GOOD DAY sir

    at the end of the day, doing nothing would be incredibly irresponsible.  I wonder if that might hit home.

    Fundamentalism, like fascism and communism before it, will not rest until it is thoroughly discredited or has the entire world under its yoke.

    by Guinho on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 10:21:33 AM PDT

  •  Senate also passed a requirement that climate (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    legislation not increase electricity and gasoline prices.  No idea how this will affect their consideration, but only 8 Senators voted against that:

    Nice diary.

  •  Some thoughts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    johnnygunn, Cleopatra

    On the Republican side, The Maine Senators are more likely suporters then most Democrats. Gregg and Grassley won't vote for it. But Mel Martinez voted for it in 2008 and I think will again. There is a chance McCain or Gregg would vote for it. But we will probably get three or four Republican votes at most. Let's assume that Al Franken will be seated. That means we can only lose three or four Democrats on cloture and up to 13-14 on the final vote.

    Let's use last years vote on a climate bill as the template for getting to 60.

    48 Senators voted for cloture. Of them Dole, Smith, Sununu, Salazar and Warner are no longer in Congress. I think it's a safe bet that the Democrats who replaced those Republicans will vote for cloture and it's likely that the Democrat who replaced Salazar (Bennet) will as well, Colorado is a environmentally friendly state and his wife works for Earthjustice. So we can probably hold onto those 48 votes.

    In addition 16 Senators didn't vote. Biden, Clinton, Obama, Coleman and Kennedy are five of them and their replacements would certainly vote for cloture and the bill.

    That's 53.

    McCain said at the time he would have voted for cloture and has traditionally been for climate legislation but seems to be turning away from this and repeating the cap and tax line. So he might be gettable for cloture. Let's just assume so. Specter is facing Democratic primary so this time I think he'll favor cloture and the legislation. 55 votes now. Among the other potential votes who didn't vote or their predecessor didn't vote are Byrd, Conrad, Gregg, Murkowski, Grahm and Begich. But I'll get to them later.

    Among the nay votes Allard has been replaced by Mark Udall who has been a clean energy champion for a long time and his wife run's Al Gore's group. His cousin Tom Udall who is even more of a clean energy champ replaced Domenici in New Mexico. That makes it up to 57.

    So who are the remaining people who could need to be convinced to vote for it?

    2008 NAY votes:
    Johnson (SD)

    2008 Not Voting:

    2008 newly elected, Stevens didn't vote:

    I think Begich is a very gettable vote, probably the most likely. He campaigned on arguably a stronger climate platform then this bill

    He may need some modifications to help Alaska but I'd say he's a likely vote. Gregg, Grahm, Murkowski and Landrieu are all very unlikely to vote for it. I think Brown is the next most likely. He has some issues that need to be worked on but he cares about and understands the issue. Here's a op-ed he wrote for Roll Call this year

    That only gets us to 59 though. It's possible that Byrd will vote for cloture in part because the bill is likely to include large subsides for "clean coal" and in part because he won't want it to go through via reconciliation. Conrad, Dorgan and Johnson are all also possible. But they will also be tough. And Lugar and Voinovich have been showing signs they may be open to compromise.

    So ACES does have a chance. But it will be a very hard fight and will require a lot of organizing.

    And I don't believe that Reid doesn't want to take on the bill. This is one of his favorite issues. It will certainly pass out of committee (have you looked at the Democratic composition of Boxer's committee? Almost all the libearls in the Senate). The real question is WHAT will pass out of the Senate? Something weak and almost meaningless? Something like ACES that is a step forward, but a very small one or something that comes closer to really doing what we need?

    A lot of that will depend on how well suporters organize.

    John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

    by Populista on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 11:41:24 AM PDT

    •  Regardless of the Committee Composition - (0+ / 0-)

      If Reid thinks it will fail on the floor,
      he will try to keep it bottled in committee.
      Such a public defeat is unthinkable.

      Then again, it it passes with clean coal, exemptions for industrial agriculture, subsidies for new nukes, government sponsorship of corporate energy debt, etc., etc. - then what is really left?

      •  Boxer (0+ / 0-)

        has said with Reid's support that it will be out of her committee by the August recess. Reid has set a September 18th deadline for other committees to finish up work.

        You have no factual basis for your claims. Reid wants this passed. You can make up reasons why he doesn't but they are not true.

        John McCain: Beacuse lobbyists should have more power

        by Populista on Sat Jun 27, 2009 at 12:05:49 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  No - - (0+ / 0-)

          First off - let's get the quote -

          * Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid has ordered Senate committees to finish work on climate change legislation by mid September, so a final measure can hopefully clear Congress this year. "This fall we're going to have a bill here in the Senate that we're going to be able to vote on," Reid said.

          * Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, expects to unveil a climate change bill in July and have her committee pass it before lawmakers leave for their summer recess in August.

          (It is always nice to source)


          Factual basis?
          How about the friggin' history of the Senate chamber?

          Majority leaders have historically held up major legislation that lacks support - usually to avoid an embarrassing public loss.  Perhaps you are unfamiliar with Senate Majority Leader Charles Curtis's attemps to bridge the gap in the 1920s Republican Party between "Regulars" and "Progressives".  He threatened to keep progressive legislation off the floor unless he had the support of the insurgent "Progressives" on other legislation.

          Lyndon Baines Johnson, considered by many to be the most effective Senate Majority Leader, operated in a different climate in that the White House was held by Eisenhower, a Republican while he led the Democrats who controlled the Senate.  Thus, a loss carried great risk.  Johnson's decision to gut the Civil Rights Act of 1957 demonstrates his political style more than his lack of commitment to the issue of civil rights - in that he realized that strong civil rights legislation would have hopelessly divided the Democrats and would have been impossible to get through the Senate at that time.

          Although it wasn't legislation, Trent Lott's big loss of the Senate impeachment trial vote was the beginning of the end for his leadership.  Of course, a Senate Majority Leader cannot send an impeachment vote off to committee, but the nature of the charges against Clinton and the party makeup of the Senate practically assured that loss.  Lott's failure was in allowing his sentiments to cloud his judgment and called into question the effectiveness of his leadership.  A more astute leader would have approached his/her House colleagues and demanded something short of impeachment.

          Sorry, Pops, but there is a clear history throughout the 20th century of Senate Majority Leaders refusing to be painted into a losing corner.  They may come up with legislation that they claim is groundbreaking - like Johnson did in 1957 or they may make backroom deals to get the votes they need - as Curtis did with the Progressives, but they never like to put themselves in a losing position on the floor.

  •  Rep. Pete Stark (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Voted against the bill from a progressive position because he believed it was too weak and too spoiled by special interests to be an effective solution to the climate crisis.  Like Kucinich and DeFazio, he deserves praise for this.

  •  Maybe not much more than a snowball's chance in.. (0+ / 0-)

    the North Pole ice pack. But we've got to work the Senate. Don't buy the bullshit coming from the environmental extremes that this bill is bad. It has bad in it, but overall it is a good beginning.

    If it fails, we will be set back years.

  •  i was wondering if this was going to lead to high (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    rates. more of a public utility person, myself, but i suppose i would have voted for it, since it's a start.

    too late to tip/rec, but it's the thought:}

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