Adding More Transportation to the Climate Change Mix

v0001261.jpg…How about this one? (Photo: Wellsy’s World)
R000361.jpgIs this senator gettable for the climate bill? (Photo: Washington Post)

Nate Silver’s new analysis of the state of play on climate change in the Senate makes a convincing argument that a carbon cap-and-trade system can become law this year.

In fact, it raises the question of whether two senators ranked as unlikely yes votes can be won over by beefing up the climate bill’s treatment of transportation emissions beyond what was passed in the House.

Silver’s analysis gives Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) a 17 percent chance of voting for climate legislation, thanks to his state’s red-tinged voting pattern and reliance on the coal industry. But it’s hard to see Rockefeller opposing a climate bill that includes his proposal to reduce national  transportation-based emissions by 40 percent by 2030 — which would go a long way towards meeting overall targets for greenhouse gas reduction.

And what about Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH), who reminded fellow members of the Environment and Public Works Committee last month that a new transportation bill would go a long way towards reducing emissions?

Voinovich hails from an industrial state, and he supported a filibuster of last year’s Senate climate bill. Still, he sounds susceptible to an argument from Democratic leaders that in the absence of a broad federal transportation bill this year, it’s important to tackle the issue during the climate change debate.

(ed. note. A typo in an earlier version of this post mis-labeled Voinovich’s party. Thanks to the commenter in question.)

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Stark Divisions Between Dems and GOP on Climate Impacts of Transportation

|
How polarized are the two political parties on key questions about transportation policy and climate change? As you can imagine, the answer is “very.” The senior Democrat and Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee — California’s Barbara Boxer and Oklahoma’s Jim Inhofe, respectively — each wrote an opinion this week for the Eno Center for […]

Two More Senate Dems Back Plan to Devote Climate Money to Transit

|
This week has brought news of a brewing compromise on the Senate climate change bill, introduced last month amid signals that the upper chamber would give only a bit more to clean transportation than the House’s meager 1 percent set-aside of revenue from cap-and-trade carbon regulations. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) (Photo: Sun-Sentinel) The stirrings of […]

Boxer Delays Senate Climate Bill Until September

|
This was supposed to be a big week for action on climate change in the Senate — but it’s ending with Republicans rubbing their hands in glee as the Environment and Public Works Committee delays its unveiling of legislation on carbon emissions. Senate environment committee chairman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) (Photo: AP) As Reuters reports this […]

How Important is a United Front on the Climate Bill?

|
As fans of clean transportation and sustainable development join the push for a strong climate change bill to emerge from Congress, it’s worth remembering that not all environmental groups support the approach congressional Democrats have chosen. Senate Commerce Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) (Photo: AP) Friends of the Earth (FoE) joined Greenpeace in opposing the House […]

Senate Climate Bill Delayed Yet Again As Obama Takes Nobel

|
As my colleague Ryan wrote earlier, the congressional climate change bill no represents the most meaningful path for urbanists, and advocates for clean transportation in general, to make their voices heard in the national debate. President Obama, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize today. (Photo: AP) So it bears repeating that the bill is losing momentum, […]