Nearly every energy and greentech and auto and battery and utility company in America has a stake in the proposed Waxman-Markey bill. So does every taxpayer and the future of any potential agreement with China on global warming could hang in the balance, and...the list of possible effects of the fate of this legislation is global and ginormous.
Sen. Byrd is out of the hospital but will he be there to vote? How about Sen. Ted Kennedy? The Dems are about add to "Senator" Franken but they'll need Republican help to get past the potential Repub filibuster. Sixty votes will be needed to secure some bill or other. That means they need 60 votes. Over 40 Dems voted against the bill in its current form in the House. What are the odds? Likely there wil be some serious give and take on the content of the bill before any Senate vote is taken. Anti-regulation conservatives are arguing this bill will cost too much, raising energy prices. Some even claim this bill will give the feds the right to control your showering behavior. Sniff test, perhaps? Of course, critics don't bother to figure the costs of environmental disasters like Katrina flooding the former city of New Orleans or perhaps flooding of some place vital like Miami Beach or Hilton Head. There's always the debate, is it cheaper to prepare for the inevitable, or wait and fix it after the unavoidable smash-up? I am a coward and will always opt for preparation. I'd rather be in a San Francisco high-rise during and earthquake than in some unregulated building in rural Turkey. When forced by regulations, American engineers can reduce many serious threats. Without regulation we might well wait until there is no Miami or Houston above the rising sea level. Then we pay lots to fix what we could have prevented.