JONATHAN CHAIT SEPTEMBER 30, 2010
In the middle of an op-ed making what's quickly becoming the standard-issue left-wing election interpretation -- Democrats lost because they wimped out on popular liberal issues -- Markos Moulitsas makes this point about climate change:
On global warming legislation, a Gallup poll for USA Today in June found that 56 percent of Americans favored “Regulat[ing] energy output from private companies in an attempt to reduce global warming,” while 40 percent opposed. Democrats did nothing.
They didn't do nothing. They announced a plan to regulate greenhouse gasses! Now, it's true that they didn't pass cap and trade legislation, but cap and trade legislation isn't popular.
This is another example of liberals treating climate change as an issue they've lost on when, in fact, there's a pretty decent shot at victory. On the transportation side, the Obama administration has proposed tougher auto mileage standards, and passed some funding for electric battery research. On the energy generation side, the EPA is going to start regulating carbon emissions, unless the emitters and conservatives in Congress can stop them. This is going to be one of the most important fights of the Obama administration, and it's odd how many liberals act as though it's already been lost.