Obama’s climate reforms “a winning issue”

There are fears, following the Massachusetts by-election defeat, that Pres. Obama’s climate reforms could hit the rocks as swing state Democrats start wobbling.

On Tuesday, Left Foot Forward reported attempts by big carbon industry, via one of its friends in Congress, to cut Obama off at the knees on climate change; you can read more detailed analysis on this development from our sister site in the US, Think Progress.

Now there is mounting noise, following Scott Brown’s win in Teddy Kennedy’s old seat, that Obama’s climate reforms like his healthcare reforms could hit the rocks as swing state Democrats start wobbling.

For example, the Financial Times reports “US Cap and Trade bill looks even further away” and The Guardian says Democrats unlikely to touch climate legislation this year”.

This comes after some supporters of the Bill, like the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman, Sen. Jeff Bingaman, said that passage of the legislation was unlikely and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, a Democrat, called the bill “impossible to pass.”

But Senator John Kerry, who is leading the climate reforms in the Senate, says:

“This is the single best opportunity to create jobs, reduce pollution, and stop sending billions overseas for foreign oil from countries that would do us harm. Sell those arguments and you’ve got a winning issue.”

The polls suggest he’s right.

Left Foot Forwarded reported back in October how six in ten independents support Obama’s climate plan. Recent polls produced similar evidence of broad support for Obama’s ‘cap and trade’ plan.

This all runs contrary to much of the media coverage and counters suggestions that Obama needs to run from his climate reforms or water them down.

As Howard Dean explained last night in relation to healthcare, America’s progressive majority want more change, not less. They voted for the Obama who said of climate change:

“Delay is no longer an option. Denial is no longer an acceptable response.”

And, as Simon Schama wrote in the Financial Times yesterday, it’s time to fight back:

“It is just that he (Obama) may actually need to respond to the unrelenting pressure from zombie conservatism, ravenously flesh-eating and never quite dead, not by turning on more consensual charm, but by taking the gloves off.”

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