Saturday, November 08, 2008

The new Senate's effect on climate legislation

I posted last June about Lieberman-Warner's failure to reach the 60 votes it needed. (The actual vote list is here.) It received 48 yes votes, and proponents claimed six absent Senators were on their side (Obama, Clinton, McCain, Coleman, Biden, and Kennedy) so they're six votes short. How about now?

Wiki lists the Senate election results so far that we can compare the bill vote list. Allard's retired, replaced by a good enviro, Mark Udall, so that vote switches to yes. Sununu was a good vote, so his replacement's a wash. Domenici's replacement adds a yes vote. Dole was a yes vote, so another wash. Gordon Smith's loss is another wash as a yes vote. Same thing with J Warner replaced by M Warner. So total pickup, not including the still contested seats, is two votes.

In the too-close-to-call category, two incumbents (Stevens and Scumbag Chambliss) will switch to yes votes if they lose, while Coleman's a wash.

So best case from the election is four new yes votes. I speculated last June that we might only need two if we could get the four existing Dem votes against the bill (Brown, Dorgan, Johnson, and Landrieu) to switch on cloture, but we might only need two of them. If climate legislation is packaged together with some "energy independence" legislation, it might peel off an additional Republican vote or two.

So a definite maybe, at this point, and with the additional disclaimer that stronger legislation like Obama wants might drop a few votes. As for a treaty - forget getting 67 votes. A trade agreement including post-Kyoto limits is the only option.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.