Analysis: Election was ‘a referendum on Cap-and-Trade’ — ‘Look for EPA to try and delay the impacts of its regulatory agenda until after the 2012 elections’

Special To Climate Depot

‘What Does the 2010 Election Mean for Cap-and-Trade and the EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations?’ — By Andrew Wheeler

(Wheeler is senior vice president of B&D Consulting and the former Staff Director of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee.)

First, was the election a referendum on Cap and Trade? Absolutely. While the economy and jobs were the most important issues, Cap and Trade certainly played a role in the historic gains in the election and it will continue to play a role as the EPA moves forward on the regulations.

On Cap and Trade, one needs to look no further than the ten House Democrats who voted for Cap and Trade but voted against the healthcare bill.
– Adler
– Boucher
– Kratovil
– Skelton
– Space
– Teague
– Chandler
– Lipinski
– Lynch
– Peterson

Of the ten members, three were in noncompetitive seats (Peterson, Lynch, and Lipinski). In fact Lynch and Lipinski voted against healthcare because it didn’t go far enough. That leaves seven House members who voted against healthcare but supported Waxman/Markey, six of whom were defeated last night and the seventh, Congressman Chandler leads by only 600 votes but the race hasn’t been called yet. The Cap and Trade bill figured prominently in all seven of these races, specifically in Congressman Boucher’s district with his role in helping to craft the bill. In the Teague race, returning Congressman Pearce cited the Cap and Trade vote as one of the primary reasons he decided to challenge Congressman Teague.

What does this mean for the EPA regulations?

Well you have to look at the Republican results in the industrial/coalbelt Midwest. Republicans picked up the Governorships in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. They picked up Senate seats in Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. While the Democrats held on to the Senate seat in West Virginia, Governor Manchin was losing until he ran an ad literally shooting the Cap and Trade Bill with a rifle. This ad was glorified by the press and turned the race around. While there were no statewide races in Virginia, Republicans picked up three House seats and a fourth is still too close to call. What does this mean going forward? Except for West Virginia, President Obama won all of these states in 2008.

In all of these races, the Republicans who won, and Governor Manchin, criticized the Cap-and-Trade proposals