As expected, the sausage-making process that is the climate change bill is going to get even uglier in the Senate, reports the Chronicle’s Jennifer Dlohy:
But the regional concerns that threatened the bill in the House — from the vitality of manufacturing in the Midwest to the financial health of the oil industry in Texas and Louisiana — are political dynamite in the Senate.
Where the House membership is distributed by population — with delegations from green-friendly California and New York having 82 members — the Senate’s equal distribution of seats means that coal-reliant Ohio has the same voting power as California.
“Regional issues tend to blow up in the Senate,” observed Frank Maisano, a Washington-based energy specialist with Bracewell & Giuliani. For supporters, “the largest problem is the regional nature” of the debate.
“Caterpillar Inc., the Peoria, Ill., heavy-equipment maker and a founding member of USCAP, said it doesn’t support the House legislation, citing several “problematic” provisions.
One calls for emissions standards on off-road machines like bulldozers. Others would impose tariffs on goods from countries that don’t match U.S. efforts to combat climate change, and require contractors on some energy-related projects to pay employees at least the locally “prevailing wage.”