Defeat on Climate Change Bill Masks Subtle Victory, Supporters Say

As expected, a proposal to establish mandatory caps on greenhouse gas emissions was rejected yesterday by the U.S. Senate in a 55-43 vote. Still, supporters of the bill, which was sponsored by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz) and Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.), were generally pleased with the outcome: Crossing party lines, six Republicans backed the bill, as did several Democrats from major industrial and coal-producing states, who typically oppose such caps. The vote represented the first time that members of Congress have been called upon to take a position on global warming since President Bush took office — but, apparently, it won’t be the last. Sounding distinctly like California Governor-elect Arnold Schwarzenegger, McCain said, “I want to assure my colleagues we will be back.”