With Obamacare Now Law, Democrats Turn Their Attention to Cap-and-Trade Tax

Breaking from Newsmax.com

By: Jim Meyers

With the battle over healthcare reform won, President Barack Obama’s allies in Congress are turning their attention to climate change legislation — and drawing opposition from both sides of the issue.

Sen. John Kerry, a proponent of Congressional action on climate change, said administration officials can now “pour their energy and attention” into the issue.


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“In the wake of healthcare’s passage, we have a strong case to make that this can be the next breakthrough legislative fight,” the Massachusetts Democrat declared.

“Climate legislation is the single best opportunity we have to create jobs, reduce pollution and stop sending billions overseas for foreign oil from countries that would do us harm . . . This can happen.”

In June, the House passed a bill that would approve a “cap-and-trade” system to restrict greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming. The Senate has yet to act on similar legislation.

Kerry hopes to win Republican support and is working with Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina on climate legislation, according to a report from AFP.

But most Republicans oppose climate change legislation, warning that it will harm the economy, and some have sought to take away the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions.

Some environmentalists also oppose the House bill, which would curb emissions by only 17 percent by 2020 compared to 2005 levels — much less than promised by the European Union and Japan.

They also fear that a Kerry-Graham bill would likely back nuclear energy and offshore oil drilling — “anathema to some environmentalists,” AFP observed — and water down cap-and-trade provisions.

“If the senators feel it’s their job to move from what was one of the biggest corporate giveaways in American history to make something that’s even more friendly to polluting industry, that would be a huge mistake,” said Nick Berning, director of public advocacy at Friends of the Earth.

In a Newsmax interview on Monday, Sen. Kit Bond was asked if passage of the healthcare bill will embolden Obama and the Democrats to forge ahead with cap-and-trade and other items on their agenda.

“I hope it will not,” the Missouri Republican said.

“But as I believe the president has said, passage of this government takeover of healthcare — he didn’t call it that, I did — is a template for how we’re going to deal with the rest of the economy.”

© Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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