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Dallas Morning News: Axelrod drops global warming bill from priority list
January 19, 2010

Posted by: David Lungren

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Dallas Morning News

Is climate change legislation still a priority for Team Obama?

By: Dave Michaels

January 19, 2010

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Climate change legislation was at the top of President Barack Obama's priority list when he entered office. Since then, he and the Congress have kept it on the radar: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act poured billions of dollars into technology and resource investments that will help cut emissions, and Obama went to Copenhagen to press big polluters such as China and India to agree to new emissions limits.

But the clock is running out on the legislative year, and the economy remains the biggest issue during an election year when many incumbents are nervous about their reelection chances. There probably isn't enough time to pass a climate change bill through both chambers, even if lawmakers could find a way to surmount the obvious political hurdles to such a bill. At a briefing this morning with reporters from The Dallas Morning Newsand other outlets, White House senior advisor David Axelrod didn't list climate change as a top priority for 2010. (The list basically consisted of finding ways to create jobs and passing a major financial regulation bill.)

While Axelrod said the White House still places a "high priority" on fighting global warming, the nitty-gritty legislative details will have to be worked out by lawmakers of both parties on Capitol Hill. "It's not going to be solved on a partisan basis," Axelrod said. What that means is, the Senate bill that passed Barbara Boxer's Environment and Public Works Committee in November (without any support from Republicans, who basically boycotted the committee's process) isn't going anywhere. The more likely path is through Sen. John Kerry, who is working with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham and Independent Sen. Joe Lieberman on legislation. "We're eager to work with them," Axelrod said.


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