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US climate change legislation loses puff

Business Times - 26 Feb 2010


US climate change legislation loses puff

By LEON HADAR
WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT

EVEN before the electoral loss that the Democrats suffered in the Massachusetts special Senate race, depriving them of their filibuster-proof majority of 60 seats, most political analysts seemed to agree that the climate change legislation mandating industry reductions in greenhouse gas emissions was facing serious obstacles on Capitol Hill.

Although the legislation was promoted by the White House for most of the year, public opinion polls suggested that many Americans, pained by the economic recession, were concerned that it would lead to a rise in energy prices. Moreover, the same polls also indicated that less than 30 per cent of American voters regarded global warming as a top policy priority now.

Thus, while the Democrats in the House of Representatives were able to win a narrow approval for an energy bill that included a cap-and-trade mechanism in it - requiring companies t…