Muckraker: Grist on Politics

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday said she has enough votes in the House to pass cap-and-trade legislation aimed at curbing greenhouse-gas emissions, but she’s not certain Democrats will be able to do that in 2009.

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

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Pelosi acknowledged the December deadline looming over U.N. negotiations toward a new international climate change agreement. “We’re sensitive to Copenhagen and the rest of that,” she said, referring to the Denmark capital that will host the next annual U.N. conference. “And it’s a very high priority for me.”

But Pelosi said she could not guarantee that President-elect Barack Obama would be able to sign a cap-and-trade law before Copenhagen.

“I would certainly hope so, but I can’t tell you that that is the case right now,” she said. “Of all the bills that we have done, you know I sort of know the policies, I know what the possibilities are, this is the most, should we say, controversial, not controversial, mysterious.”

Pelosi added that any legislation on cap-and-trade needs to be crafted carefully. “We have to do it right. I don’t think we can take any chances. So this is going to take some very thorough scrutiny as to how we go forward.”

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