Saturday, July 24, 2010

The White House lamely blames environmentalists for climate bill failure

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By Joe Romm

The blame game has already begun.

One exasperated administration official on Thursday lambasted the environmentalists – led by the Environmental Defense Fund – for failing to effectively lobby GOP senators.

“They didn’t deliver a single Republican,” the official told POLITICO. “They spent like $100 million and they weren’t able to get a single Republican convert on the bill.”

No doubt that is a quote from somebody in the Rahm and Axelrod camp.

But while I certainly think that enviros  made mistakes — see Can you solve global warming without talking about global warming? — I agree with CAP’s Dan Weiss who told Climate Progress today:

In my 30 years of environmental advocacy, this has been the most sophisticated, political savvy, vigorous legislative campaign. The Environmental Defense Fund undertook heroic efforts to convince reluctant senators of both parties to support investments in clean energy jobs, reduce oil use, and cut pollution.

The inability to achieve support from Republican senators was due to their feality to their leadership, big oil, and dirty coal, and not for lack of effort. Senators of both parties who supported global warming legislation in previous Congresses should be ashamed that they were AWOL in 2010.

I would go further.

It is  absurd to think that environmentalists could deliver Republicans — the GOBP  doesn’t count environmentalists among their constituents.  Maybe they could have delivered the Maine Senators, but Cantwell give Collins an out.  Snowe remains a puzzle. …

On the  political front, the White House  deserves most of the blame for not getting Republicans.  Why?  Because  the White House never tried to keep moderate Democrats in line, never made  it clear that there was definitely gonna be a vote on this bill and the moderates should figure out what they needed to support the bill (as in the case of healthcare reform). …

The White House lamely blames environmentalists for climate bill failure

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