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.