Over on Blue Marble, you can find the latest on environmental politics. The highlights:
After seeming to make room for Democrats who want to drop cap-and-trade in remarks at a town hall in New Hampshire, Barack Obama on Wednesday called on his party not to take “the easy way out” on legislation. Republican Lindsey Graham seconded the call to not settle for a “half-assed” climate bill.
A leaked draft of the Senate bill’s nuclear title includes basically everything the nuclear industry has asked for: additional federal loan guarantees to spur the construction of new plants, tax breaks and a streamlined approval process for new plants.
House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.) and Missouri Reps. Ike Skelton (D) and Jo Ann Emerson (R) announced yesterday that they are sponsoring a bill to block the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases, arguing that regulations should be left up to Congress. Peterson did vote for the House climate and energy bill last year, but only after holding the bill hostage until he could wring as much out of it for Big Ag. And after getting what he wanted, he now says he would vote against the bill if it came back to the House, which casts doubt about his seriousness about regulating greenhouse-gases.
The oil industry spent $154 million on lobbying last year. That’s more than any previous year, and more than any other energy interest looking to shape the debate on Capitol Hill.