Rich Galen

The climate change legislation raced through the U.S. House on a seven-vote margin, 219-212. Eight Republicans voted for the bill, 44 Democrats voted against. Those numbers do not bode well for any quick action in the U.S. Senate where getting anything approaching 60 votes for this anti-carbon energy bill looks dimmer than the inside of a West Virginia coal mine at during a lunar eclipse at midnight in December.

According to, the bill

"will raise electricity prices for consumers by $175 a year per household by 2020, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office, significantly less than the $3,000 price hike predicted by Republicans who say the "energy tax" will increase energy bills and the cost of consumer goods."

I haven't seen either calculation, but if energy costs rise, then the cost of anything manufactured or grown that uses energy - which would be approximately everything - will rise, too. That increase will be passed along to consumers which has to be added to the $175 per year hike in everyone's electricity bill.

The ink hardly had time to dry on the 1,000+ page bill (which was finished at about three o'clock on Friday morning), when President Barack Obama made the astonishing pronouncement that he was opposed to one major provision. According to the New York Times, the provision in question was "inserted in the middle of the night before the vote Friday, that requires the president, starting in 2020, to impose a "border adjustment" - or tariff - on certain goods from countries that do not act to limit their global warming emissions."

Democrat Sander Levin of Michigan said of the tariff against countries which do not embrace the whole lower-carbon-footprint deal,

"We can and must ensure that the U.S. energy-intensive industries are not placed at a competitive disadvantage by nations that have not made a similar commitment to reduce greenhouse gases."

Sounds right to me. In fact, it sounded right to the entire United States Senate when it refused to take up the Kyoto treaty because it exempted countries like India and China from having to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Senate then believed it put U.S. businesses at a competitive disadvantage and my guess is the Senate now will come to the same conclusion.

Nevertheless, President Obama said in a Sunday interview which he deemed so important that, according to the NY Times, he "delayed the start of a Sunday golf game to speak to a small group of reporters in the Oval Office."

Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at