June 18th, 2010
07:04 AM ET
8 years ago

Senate Democrats struggle with climate change legislation

Washington (CNN) - Senate Democrats Thursday seized on the environmental disaster in the Gulf of Mexico as a reason to pass climate-change and energy legislation, but internal policy differences will not be easy to overcome and may also leave many disheartened.

Members of the Democratic caucus met behind closed doors to discuss various legislative proposals, telling reporters afterward that no single vision has emerged as the way forward. The difficulty is that any policy change needs 60 votes to be approved in the Senate.

"One of the many lessons of the BP disaster is we can't afford to continue business as usual," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after the meeting. Reid, of Nevada, expressed his goal of voting on one bill that addresses both the BP spill and concerns about global warming before recessing in August, adding that "stalling for political purposes" is unacceptable.

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soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Rob Johnson

    On a purely cynical political level, the Democrats should introduce a very liberal bill with strong support for the environment and subsidies for alternative energy.

    It won't pass, of course, but I would love to see the Republicans try to justify the vote when November comes around.

    Whatever advantage the GOP might have from the health care bill can be totally overcome if you can run ads with Joe Barton's "apology" to BP and make the case that the Republicans are tools of big business.

    June 18, 2010 08:49 am at 8:49 am |
  2. Louisiana Man

    Have we become that brain dead and controlled GOP marionettes not to realize that climate change is real and marauders and hijackers of the environment, like BP, will be the apocalypse of the twentieth first century.

    This explosion was MAN MADE. We have to wake up to this reality and grow a backbone before its too late.

    Democrats, stop being bullied by the Repubs stooges and fight for our future and what it right.

    June 18, 2010 08:53 am at 8:53 am |
  3. Rick McDaniel

    Democrats struggle with everything......because they are totally inept.

    June 18, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. Dave

    My God, why have people not realized that "Climate Change", which used to be "Global Warming" and decades ago "Global Cooling", is a complete fallacy? More than half the TRUE scientific community calls it a hoax. It is a pure power play. A scam. It is for money and control.

    Yes the climate changes, it has throughout history. Before their were people were most of the hottest times on the planet.

    It is simply a way to tax and control people and nations so they fall in line.


    June 18, 2010 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. mike

    don't worry about climate change the republicans that the uneducated
    tea baggers want in office will block it you see the uneducated are to
    stupid to understand anything until it is front of there face then they
    come crying to the government that they don't want to do something about it they are worried about our government overspending but
    could care less about there kids swimming in that cured oil called
    texas tea well they are not going to have to worry about sun tan lotion

    June 18, 2010 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  6. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    "And why they are rejecting the scientific views of virtually the entire world's community and playing politics with this when the future of the planet is at stake, I just don't understand."
    DemoCRAPS AND RethugliKKKlans at their world-class best!

    The biggest oil spill EVER and some shtump felt SAFE enough to blurt out his condemnation of our President in defense of a BIG OIL COMPANY.

    What exactly will it take for us to work TOGETHER on ANYTHING? Don't answer that, A LOT of us already know YOUR answer.

    June 18, 2010 09:06 am at 9:06 am |
  7. GI Joe

    Play the 2008 campaign speeches by McSONGBIRD and FALIN showing them yelling FOR renewable energy. That should do it.

    June 18, 2010 09:19 am at 9:19 am |
  8. Augsbee

    Have any of you noticed or been around those pushing for Climate change and Energy Legislation and talk about Global Warming, safe the environment are all either very wealthy/rich people or are people who don't work a real job at all ( live on whatever, do volunteer work in growing plants, measuring the sun in exchange for a place to live or live in campgrounds ) don't have real lives with responsibilities and some don't work at all?????? Aren't Harry Reid, John Kerry, Joe Lieberman very rich people who's income does not depend on a job??????

    June 18, 2010 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. The reality is...

    we certainly "can't afford to continue business as usual". That's why we need to kick Reid and his cronies out of office. They're destroying the country and it wouldn't be surprising to me if they're in cahoots with BP in allowing this oil leak to continue so they have a "reason" to push their bogus agenda.

    June 18, 2010 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  10. Don of Iowa

    It will not get done because the vile foul party of NO, the useless and rediculously unintelligent morons of the GOP will not let anything pass regardless if it is good for the country or not, they are more concerned with stopping anything getting done under Obama because of their extreme vile foul bigotry and hatred of anyone who is not white or conservative.

    June 18, 2010 09:52 am at 9:52 am |
  11. doug

    I trust the party whose leader has recieved the most money from BP than any other politician in the last 20 years. NOT

    Just imagine how Democrats would be acting right now if this had happened under Bush's watch.

    Then observe how there would no difference in the Republican words on this no matter who was in the White House.

    Integrity, decency, and fairness are what define this great nation. Since not an ounce of it is found in the heart of any Democrat, there is no excuse to support such evil.

    June 18, 2010 09:55 am at 9:55 am |
  12. Darko

    The only thing the oil spilled revealed is that federal regulations failed, BP cut corners and Environmentalist have made drilling risky by pushing it farther offshore.

    Answer this..How is drilling further offshore anymore environmentally safer than closer to shore. It's not. The oil still reaches the shores. Only now they have the ADDED risk of dealing with a mile deep of water.

    Climate change legislation does nothing for the environment. It's a tax to pay for Obama's unicorns and payback for all his backers that have invested in carbon trading to make billions off the middle class. Carbon trading is the birthchild of none other than ENRON...

    Carbon trading has totally failed in the European countries that have implemented it. They are trying every which way to recover from the economic damage and the fact that it did nothing tangible for the environment.

    June 18, 2010 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  13. sifto77

    So where are the American "elites" of 30% American owned BP hiding?I give Hayward full marks for taking 100% of the heat from the political jokers on that kangaroo court. US heads are hiding behind Obama's coattails . The CEO of BP has demonstrated how much class he has and ultimate control compared to the court jesters of Waxman and Co. He already stated that BP would pay for damages before they came after him in a stupid way. What happened to the slice and dice of American govt regulators who are just as responsible as this guy? When does the American" CEO", Obama get tarred and feathered?

    June 18, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  14. Don Wuerl

    Is there anything that we can agree on, folks? We need to stop choking ourselves and our neighbors with this oil geyser in the Gulf of Mexico. We all need clean air; lest we suffocate each other. We should also protect all those living beings that share our planet with us-its our debt to Mother Earth! What are we waiting on?

    June 18, 2010 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  15. snow

    This is just another energy tax that nobummer wants. He said when he was campaigning his cap and trade/tax would necessarily cause energy prices to skyrocket and this is his bill. He told the fools who voted for him that this was his policy and guess what, he is trying to get it before Reid and alot of other liberals/demorats are kicked out of office in November.

    June 18, 2010 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  16. Idiots in office

    The oil spill has nothing to do with any climate change legislation, all this is a chance for reid and the dweebs to try and push this disastrous cap and trade fiasco through. All this bill will do is to drive up prices, not just the cost of electricity but every single thing consumers buy. All over some trumped up BS that gore got rich off of.They want wind and green power,well there is enough hot air and manure in washington to power the universe forever.

    June 18, 2010 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  17. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    There's an environmental disaster in the Gulf and the Dems response is a proposal to enormously raise taxes on American citizens. Does this make any sense at all?

    This is Dem opportunism at its worst. It's another bit of cynical "never let a good crisis go to waste."

    June 18, 2010 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  18. Dean

    One of the many lessons of the BP disaster is that our government in ineffectual and that we cannot let them (government) do business as usual. Thank goodness, it appears that Harry Reid will soon be gone.

    June 18, 2010 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  19. Four and The Door

    "One of the many lessons of the BP disaster is we can't afford to continue business as usual," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid after the meeting.
    Yeah Harry, you have a mind like a steel trap. What you captured from the BP disaster is that "Oil is bad"? How about industrial safety programs and competent oversight by the federal government? Do those come into play at all?

    June 18, 2010 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  20. Mark from Louisiana

    obama should be impeached for not accepting help from other countries 3 days after the well blowout in the gulf. He wanted to oil down the gulf to push his crap and trade bill.

    Maybe someone will check into his dealing with Petrobas, George Soros invested a billion dollars into Petrobas stock, two months later America lent Petrobas 2 billion dollars for deepwater exploration.

    With the infusion of American taxpayers money, Petrobas's stock started climbing and before long Soros had made a billion dollars. This week the American taxpayers lent Petrobas another TEN BILLION DOLLARS.

    Why is obama bent on destroying the oil industry in America while sending our money to a foreign company that his boss has billions invested in?

    June 18, 2010 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  21. educated american (legal)

    instead of trying to ram thru the Obama?Progressive/Communist agenda- why do we plug the hole first?

    welcome to the MORAL EQUIVILENT OF WAR!

    June 18, 2010 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. Liz the First

    The Democrats need to come together on this bill and do what's necessary to start saving the planet, and US! there has got to be one sane republican who's in enough touch with reality to vote with them to get this done. if this gulf oil spill isn't enough of a wake-up call, what is it going to take??? the 'drill, baby, drill!' crowd needs to take a trip to realityland and see what havoc their insanity is causing. this country needs to start listening to the sane people, the people who understand the environment isn't some cute toy you put on a shelf and if it breaks, oh, well, so what? it's what KEEPS US ALIVE!!! why is that so hard a concept? how dumb do you have to be to not get that concept???

    June 18, 2010 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  23. Anne P. CA

    As long as we have the GOP, our planet is not going to be a priority; only lining the deep pockets of corporations will remain the key objective. Have we not seen enough of this?

    June 18, 2010 10:51 am at 10:51 am |