Washington: The already long odds that US
President Barack Obama would win passage of significant climate change legislation soon are getting longer.
Obama has been weakened by the loss Tuesday of a Senate seat held by Democrats for more than a half-century. Even before the vote, he was struggling to persuade some fellow Democrats to make climate change legislation a priority.
That will be even harder after Tuesday's vote, which has made Democratic lawmakers more hesitant to follow the president's lead.
The loss in Massachusetts has been widely interpreted as a rejection by voters of Obama's sweeping ambitions, particularly of the massive health care bill that has dominated the first year of his presidency.
That legislation is now in doubt. Its possible collapse has made Democratic lawmakers reluctant to take on contentious issues ahead of congressional elections in November.
"It's hard to see now how climate change gets on the
agenda," said Adele Morris, policy director for climate and energy economics at the Brookings Institution. "Unless something changes, nobody is going to want to take this up ahead of the elections."
First Published: Saturday, January 23, 2010, 23:37