Climate Change Legislation? Not in 2010

Shy of 60 votes in the Senate, a still shaky economy, and November elections all lead to the forecast that climate change legislation, featuring a cap and trade element, is unlikely to happen in 2010.

Despite the push to move aggressively on energy and climate after the BP oil spill, lawmakers will be fearful of putting in place a system that some claim could lead to higher prices for consumers and negatively impact the economy (and place those lawmakers directly in the line of constituent fire).  Though the recent EPA economic analysis estimates the impact of the American Power Act will be minimal, with annual increased consumer costs of $79-$146 by 2050.  Look instead for a comprehensive renewable energy and energy efficiency bill that promotes R&D in carbon neutral sources and that has a national renewable portfolio standard.