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Time Blames GOP Filibuster for Cap-and-Trade's Death

If you heard taps being played yesterday evening, there’s a good chance it came from Time magazine’s headquarters.

On Time’s Ecocentric blog, author Bryan Walsh joined other media members in bemoaning the “death” of the cap-and-trade bill after Senate Majority Leader Harry Read (D-NV) announced he would move forward with other bills because he didn’t have the votes for cap and trade:

“It's easy to count to 60. I could do it by the time I was in eighth grade. My point is this, we know where we are. We know we don't have the votes [for a bill capping emissions]. This is a step forward.”

Trying to come to grips with the bill’s demise, Walsh searched for culprits:

“How did a Democratic President who came to office talking up climate change and promising a strong carbon cap, plus a Democratic Senate and House of Representatives, plus the late impetus of the oil spill, somehow come away with barely more than nothing?” Walsh wailed.

Predictably, Walsh pointed at the Republicans first. Following a favorite media mantra, he accused the Republicans of “abusing” their power to filibuster:

“It should go without saying at this point, but the increasing reliance on the filibuster has made the U.S. Senate a deeply, deeply dysfunctional body – and the Republicans, who were nearly lockstep against any climate legislation with a cap, were only too happy to abuse it.”

Walsh further accused Republicans of ignoring “one of the most important long-term threats facing the human race” before going on to break the liberal media code of placing some of the “blame” on the Democrats and White House. However, Walsh targeted “conservative Democrats Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) and Ben Nelson (D-NE), and his biggest gripe with Obama was that he didn’t make cap-and-trade a “top priority:”

“It's true he took office in the teeth of the worst recession in modern memory – which by itself might have killed any ambitious legislation on climate – and has juggled countless crises, but this never seemed to be a priority for him, or his top political staff at the White House.”

Ultimately, Walsh concluded that environmentalists’ “green sales pitch” failed because of the Republican, conservative Democrat, and White House trifecta, but he made it clear that Republicans were first and foremost to blame:

“It failed because the filibuster makes legislation nearly impossible to pass. It failed because Republicans don't take climate change seriously and conservative Democrats won't put themselves on the line. It failed because a busy White House never made it a priority.”

Of course Walsh didn’t mention the outrageous cost of a cap-and-trade bill, with the Waxman-Markey bill estimated to cost the U.S $9.6 trillion in GDP losses, 1.1 million lost jobs, and increase energy costs. While Walsh had no problem blaming Republican filibusters, he failed to mention that experts ranging from the EPA to NASA have warned against the negative impacts of cap-and-trade.

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