It's no secret that conservative Democrats from coal, oil, and manufacturing states have long been wary about capping greenhouse gas emissions, but in the wake of the health care slog, they're letting their leadership and the White House know they want cap-and-trade off the table in 2010. Stand-alone energy legislation might stand a chance, but nothing nearly as ambitious as a bill the House passed in July to create an economy wide market for global warming emissions.
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And there's at least some signs leadership is listening.
"At this point I'd like to see a complete bill but we have to be realistic," Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) said last week.
If the Senate fails to act on climate change this Congress, all of the House's hard work will be swept into the dustbin, and Democrats will have to start largely from scratch in 2011.