Obama’s gift for Canada Day


I was away for a few days, so this is a few days late, but I see that just in time for Canada Day, Barack Obama spoke out on Sunday against a provision in the climate change legislation he has been championing. First, he pushed the US House of Representatives to pass the sweeping Waxman-Markey bill, which it did on Friday. After it was passed, he spoke out against a section on carbon tariffs that was causing a lot of worry in Ottawa and in Alberta.

His comments were aimed at the US Senate which takes up the legislation next. The Senate is more conservative and more evenly balanced between Democrats and Republicans than the House, and moderate Democrats have more sway. So there is a chance that the provision may be dropped in the Senate version of the bill. What will happen when the House and Senate versions have to be reconciled  later remains anyone’s guess. A lot of horse-trading will go on. Ottawa may be hoping that the Senate negotiators will have more leverage since they are less enthusiastic about the bill as a general matter. We shall see.

After Obama made his tariff comments, economist Paul Krugman, spanked him.

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Obama’s gift for Canada Day

  1. The section only causes worry for Alberta and Ottawa because we don't have any real carbon controls – there would be no tariffs, even with the provision, if we had some sort of system to reduce our carbon emissions.

    Without the carbon tariff, the policy becomes significantly less effective, would widen the trade deficit for America and force even more jobs out of their country. The fact that Obama would support it's removal incredibly confusing and worrisome. Good for us, I guess, if we like profiting off of other countries' attempts to progress by continuing or increasing our levels of pollution.

  2. Of course, the Cons' excuse for inaction for years has been that we can't do anything which isn't matched by our competitors in the U.S. But apparently when that exact same standard is applied to us, it's an outrage. Did we need another hint that the real goal is to do nothing?

  3. Your analysis of the differences between house and Senate stand on pretty flimsy ground.

    60% of the senate is Democratic or caucuses with the dems
    58% of the house is Democratic.

    Also, how can something be more conservative AND more balanced between Dem/GOP? Unless your saying that the average member is more conservative than the average member of their party in the other house, in which case I would seriously question that as well given some of the names involved in the senate.

  4. Average anything doesn't matter. The concern in the Senate is a half dozen or so conservative Democrats that require the
    Democratic caucus to negotiate with itself before it even goes to face the " just say no " Republicans.


    And that says nothing about the hot potato juggling of the committee chairs and the tender mercies of the lobby gang.