After the U.S. House of Representatives passed cap-and-trade legislation earlier this year by a thin seven-vote margin earlier this year, the possibility that it could become law seemed like it was a real one.
But after the dust settled some, the White House shifted its focused to so-called health care reform. And additionally, leaked emails surrounding the recent event known ClimateGate have put the entire premise of anthropogenic global warming in doubt. Thus, the likelihood of congressional Democrats getting a bill to the President's desk and signed into law has somewhat dimmed.
And that's a topic a special Thanksgiving Nov. 26 broadcast of Fox News "Special Report" took on. Host Bret Baier explained that there's pending legislation put forward by Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. and Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., with some rigid guidelines for carbon emissions.
"Charles, Sen. Barbara Boxer and Sen. John Kerry have a bill that they have passed out of committee," Baier said. "This calls for emissions to be cut by 80 percent by 2050. People look at that and say that's pretty bold legislation."
Charles Krauthammer, a columnist for The Washington Post and a regular on "Special Report" called the bill "dead on arrival" and gave reasons why it had no chance of passing.
"It's dead on arrival, as is all climate change legislation," Krauthammer said. "And not just because of political considerations. It's because reality is trumping ideology. And the Obama administration is all about ideology. One, China is not going to help or participate nor India. So anything done here will be worthless. Second, the science is shaky and getting shakier. There has been no increase in temperature over the last decade. Third, it will destroy our economies if you enact the bill that you spoke about. It would utterly destroy our economy and all the western economies. And that's why in the end the American people are saying no, and that's why in Congress it will not pass."
Nina Easton, the Washington Editor for Fortune magazine and also a regular on "Special Report," alluded to a campaign speech from President Barack Obama from 2008 when he suggested his election would slow the rise of the oceans - something proving more difficult than the president let on in that particular speech.
"Barack Obama said the moment of his election was when the rise of the oceans would begin to stall and our planet would begin to heal. I think he's finding that a lot more difficult than he anticipated when he said that," Easton said. "Copenhagen, the problem with Copenhagen is it's a wealth transfer issue. This is what -- to actually get these 192 nations to agree to something, the developed countries, meaning the U.S. and Europe, have to bribe or provide some incentives, subsidies and access to technology to developing countries. Those developing countries include countries like China and India whose growth is beyond ours right now. So that's a very difficult political mess to swallow."
In the final analysis, the "Special Report" panel, which included Baier, Krauthammer, Easton and the Weekly Standard senior writer Stephen Hayes, cap-and-trade will make a comeback in 2010, but it has no chance of passage (emphasis added):
BAIER: So this panel is in consensus that climate change legislation doesn't get through.
BAIER: But it is brought up in the spring?
KRAUTHAMMER: Dead parrot.