As the Senate deliberates on its budget proposal, a series of amendments will come to the floor for a vote today (March 22). One of those is being offered by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) to require a 60-vote threshold for any legislation to levy a carbon tax.
CALL YOUR SENATORS TODAY and ask them to vote “No” on the Blunt amendment on carbon tax legislation. You can find Washington phone numbers for your senators here.
The purpose of Blunt’s amendment, as CCL explains, is to screw up future movement on carbon tax legislation not with the actual procedural rule (which wouldn’t really do much) but with political reputation:
The amendment is largely symbolic, because the 60-vote rule is already in place to overcome a filibuster, which would almost certainly happen with a carbon tax bill. The damage, though, is that it puts senators on record as opposing carbon tax legislation, making it harder to gain their support in the future.
The extremely unsexy carbon tax is agreed to be a crucial part of fighting climate change by just about everyone who’s been paying attention to climate change. It features in two bills that may make it to the floor this year (the Boxer-Sanders bill and the four-sponsor bill that I like to call the Earl & co. bill because I like Earl Blumenauer a lot).
It was name-checked in that “I’m With the Tree-Huggers” editorial, too, as a thing that would accomplish more than stopping the Keystone XL but is Just Impossible.
That piece, with that aside, was part of what got me thinking a lot about carbon pricing again. Because, like, I’m not sure what the argument is for being willing to throw one’s organizational will behind one impossible goal but not another, aside from the obvious romance of the KXL fight being physically impossible (as the pipeline in question has been under construction for months and is about a quarter of the way built, plus the tar sands oil will be transported by rail if the pipeline falls through) and the carbon tax merely politically impossible.