Last week, Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced that they will soon introduce comprehensive climate change legislation. It would make for an interesting debate in the Senate; it would be light years better than policy that exists currently. It also has literally no chance of passing either chamber.
Which has prompted the American Petroleum Institute’s Jack Gerard to dig the bill a grave for the purposes of offering a dancefloor. From The Hill:
American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard said he did not expect the Senate to vote on the bill …
“I think no, it will not get to the floor, and I think the reason it won’t get to the floor is the dynamics surrounding carbon has changed,” Gerard told E&E TV.
Specifically, Gerard cited increased use of natural gas, which has helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. over the past several years. However, don’t worry: Gerard is still spectacularly wrong.
The reason the bill may not/probably won’t get to the Senate floor is that the “dynamics surrounding carbon” haven’t changed one fucking bit. There’s still no political will to act on the issue, just as there has been no will to act on the issue for years. And that is solely a function of the work done by people like Jack Gerard, the Wayne LaPierre of oil production, who has built his empire on the back of the status quo. Gerard’s reason for existence, the reason he earned a reported $6.4 million in 2010, is to keep the dynamics surrounding carbon exactly where they are.
If the dynamics surrounding carbon pollution had actually changed, so would policies affecting carbon pollution. This bill is doomed to failure not because the climate problem has been solved; it’s because the political problem hasn’t been. Which is exactly how Jack Gerard wants it.