President Obama, John Kerry and other Senate leaders are planning a strong push to pass Comprehensive Energy and Climate legislation during the July work session of Congress.
- In early June, the President promised to “find the votes” for comprehensive climate change legislation.
- Senator Kerry’s American Power Act is working its way through his Foreign Relations Committee with a plan to combine it with complementary energy legislation now in other Senate committees.
- On June 24th, the Democratic caucus emerged with strong support from its members for passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation – and resistance to energy-only or other piecemeal solutions.
- Early this week, President Obama met with about 20 key legislators and reiterated his commitment to comprehensive legislation whose centerpiece must be a price on carbon.
This effort will play out during July, with the real work beginning once Congress returns from the 4th of July break. The effort to secure 60 votes will have a strong focus on New England, where there is strong popular support for this effort and four Republican senators:
- Massachusetts’ Scott Brown
- New Hampshire’s Judd Gregg
- Maine’s Susan Collins and Olympia Snow
Supporters and organizations in Massachusetts and the other nearby states are gearing up to make the case to their Senators. They are finding the effort simultaneously energizing and unaccountably frustrating.
- Energizing, because it has been some time since they could make a difference on a major national issue through working in their own back yard.
- Frustrating because of the puzzling difficulty of getting traction despite making their case on the basis of benefits that should have strong appeal to Republicans – jobs, economic competitiveness, growing new entrepreneurial industries, market based solutions, national security and energy independence.
Watch this space as July unfolds. If you’d like to help, contact me.