White House and enviros amp up efforts to pass climate bill in House
The House is gearing up to vote on the American Clean Energy and Security Act as soon as next week, and both the White House and environmental groups are planning a full-court press to get it passed.
Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), coauthor of the bill, has said he is “very close” to making a final deal with Democrats like Collin Peterson (Minn.), chair of the House Agriculture Committee, who has threatened to torpedo the bill if he doesn’t get exactly what he wants for the ag sector. A new, negotiated version of the bill is expected to be released next week.
The Obama administration is planning to make next week “energy week” to rally support for the bill. Reports Politico, “The White House plans to dispatch Cabinet officials to push the administration’s energy agenda and urge Congress to pass climate legislation currently under siege from skeptical Democrats in the House.”
The admin started its push this week, with the release of a new government report on climate science that warns of dire effects across the country. The report’s authors have been holding briefings on the report on Capitol Hill this week to light a proverbial fire under legislators and their staffs.
The big question is how vocal President Obama himself will be; he was notably absent from launch events for the new climate report this week. We don’t yet have a schedule of events for “energy week,” but First Lady Michelle Obama is slated to kick off the 2009 National Conference on Volunteering and Service in San Francisco on Monday, and word around town is her remarks will have a green bent.
Meanwhile, greens and other progressive groups are going at full tilt. On Wednesday, a coalition of environmental, labor, Hispanic, and veterans groups announced that they’re spending about $5 million on an “ad blitz” aimed at getting the climate bill passed. They’re running print ads [PDF] in the major Capitol Hill publications, plus online ads targeted at decision makers.
Two members of the coalition, the Sierra Club and Vote Vets Action Fund, are running this ad on cable and broadcast TV in the D.C. market through June 25:
Other groups are running ads targeting specific legislators and demographics.
This ad from Environmental Defense Action Fund, in which a Christian minister discusses the need to address climate change, is running in the districts of nine swing representatives from both parties: Allen Boyd (D-Fla.), Brad Ellsworth (D-Ind.), Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.), Stephanie Herseth-Sandlin (D-S.D.), Baron Hill (D-Ind.), Steve LaTourette (R-Ohio), Erik Paulsen (R-Minn), Lamar Smith (R-Texas), and John Tanner (D-Tenn.).
Another Environmental Defense ad, this one featuring Exelon CEO John Rowe, is running nationally, with extra time slots in the districts of Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) and Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.):
Environmental Defense has also teamed up with Republicans for Environmental Protection on ads that target specific GOP House members, calling on them to be “true, common-sense Republicans” and support the bill. Here’s one running in the district of Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.):
Similar ads are aimed at Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), Michael Castle (R-Del.), Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Leonard Lance (R-N.J.), Christopher Lee (R-N.Y.), Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), Dave Reichert (R-Wash.), and Chris Smith (R-N.J.).