Muckraker: Grist on Politics

Backtracking on comments made earlier this month, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) now says she intends to schedule a vote on a climate bill before December, when world leaders are slated to meet in Copenhagen to hammer out a successor to the Kyoto climate pact.

Speaking to Bay Area reporters on Wednesday, Pelosi said she intends to have a cap-and-trade bill passed before the U.N.-sponsored summit, according to a report in today’s San Francisco Chronicle. The legislation, she said, would help bring in funds to support other green initiatives.

“I believe we have to because we see that as a source of revenue,” she said. “Cap-and-trade is there for a reason. You cap and you trade so you can pay for some of these investments in energy independence and renewables.”

The collective environmental movement nearly had a melt down a few weeks ago when Pelosi said that while she has the votes to pass a climate bill in the House, it might not happen in 2009.

“I’m not sure this year, because I don’t know if we’ll be ready,” Pelosi said in a press conference on Jan. 6. “We won’t go before we’re ready.”

Henry Waxman (D-Calif), whose Energy and Commerce Committee is likely to lead any House action on climate legislation, said last week that he intends to have a climate bill ready by Memorial Day.