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The apogee of congressional support for comprehensive climate change legislation came on June 26, 2009, when the House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy Security Act (Waxman-Markey) by a vote of 219 to 212. Its Senate counterpart, the American Power Act, known first as Kerry-Lieberman-Graham and then just Kerry-Lieberman, never gained traction, and in July 2010 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-Nev.) announced he would not bring it to the floor this year.

Many observers believe Republicans will take control of the House and possibly of the Senate after the Nov. 2, 2010, elections. Republican leadership in both chambers is strongly opposed to climate legislation, and many of the party’s likely new Congress-people have proclaimed themselves to be climate skeptics. Thus, (unless action is taken during the lame duck session, which seems unlikely) it appears that the next time climate legislation will be resurrected is 2013, and then only if the Democrats bounce back in the November 2012 elections.


Environmental Law | Law


Sabin Center for Climate Change Law