Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley predicts controversial climate change legislation passed by the U.S. House may not come before the Senate at all this year. Iowa utilities launched a lobbying campaign against the bill, which critics say will push consumer prices up and drive American jobs overseas.
The bill sets limits on emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhous gases. Grassley says as the cap-and-trade bill was winning passage in the House last month, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid was minimizing its chances in the Senate.
Grassley says, “He didn’t really say it wasn’t coming up this year, but when I look at the rest of July until August 8th and then everything after Labor Day, including Thanksgiving and then Christmas, we only have about 15 to 17 weeks left this year.”
Grassley says Congress has a lot on its political plate. “So with health care reform, all of the appropriation bills and probably some banking regulatory reform, I don’t know that there would be time for it to come up even if we didn’t do some of those things.” Both Grassley and Democratic Iowa Senator Tom Harkin say the bill would disproportionately harm Midwestern states where coal is king.
Senator Harkin has arranged a meeting with the White House for officials with Des Moines-based MidAmerican Energy to make their case against the bill.