Key Dem backs Waxman climate bill” is how Politico reported this afternoon’s big breaking news.  Boucher is

a coal-country Democrat whose support signals the backing of industrial state Democrats in the south and Midwest.

“I intend to vote yes and I intend to encourage all other members of the committee to do the same,” Boucher said.

Boucher has acted as a key negotiator for many Democrats on the committee, who feared that the new regulations could hurt hometown industries and consumers.

It is the man who replaced Boucher as Chair of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee who said made the Boyle comparison, Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA):

Boucher’s approval rebukes the months of “conventional wisdom” that had described the global warming bill as dead, and it helps lay the groundwork for passage in both the House and Senate, Markey said. “What we have in front of us now and we will next week is the legislative Susan Boyle,” he said, referring to the British amateur singer who shocked audiences with her professional voice last month.

How big a deal is this?  Big enough to make Energy and Commerce Committee ranking member Joe humans should just ‘get shade’ Barton eat most of his words in one 12-hour news cycle:

E&E News (subs. req’d) reported this morning:

“Cap and trade is dead,” Barton said. “It’s just dead. They’ve got to get the coroner to conduct the autopsy and make it official…. I don’t think they can get it out of committee.”

E&E News PM (subs. req’d) reported this evening:

Barton said. “He has a chance to get the votes. It is not a done deal.”

Barton estimated that there are roughly five to eight Democratic swing votes. “It is going to be a real close call,” he said.

Here are more details from the latter article on the floor schedule:

A spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said it would be premature to commit to House floor action this summer. For now, Pelosi’s only stated goal is to ensure passage this year.

Not gonna say “told ya” (see Sen. Reid: “Health care is easier than this global warming stuff.” Las Vegas odds on bill in 2009 now longer shot than Mine That Bird).

That said, a House debate during the hot summer may make more messaging sense.

The aide noted that other committees — including Ways and Means — will write sections of the bill, and the elements would be merged into a “consensus package.”

…. “The piece of legislation that we in the Senate will look at is to see what they can accomplish in the House,” Reid said. “That’s important for us because the House has the same problems we have in the Senate with different special interest senators. I don’t say that in a negative sense — we have some states that are more dependent on coal, other states more dependent on other things. And we’re going to see what the House can do. If they can do it, we can do it.

It’s looking more and more like the House can do it.