A couple weeks ago, I suggested that the BP oil spill would actually make climate legislation less likely to pass the Senate, neatly highlighting the perversity of that institution. In the past, disasters often helped spur new legislation, rather than kill it. Yesterday, on "Meet the Press," Chuck Schumer agreed. Schumer said the spill "changed the politics" of the bill--for one thing, its Republican co-sponsor, Lindsay Graham, dropped out--and noted that "it's going to be harder to get one done given that drilling off coast was a part of the compromise."
Over at the Atlantic, Joshua Green blogs:
It just goes to show how reality can dramatically trump shallow political calculation. For the last few months, compromising with Republicans on off-shore drilling seemed like good, pragmatic politics. It was a hot-button issue for the Palin-iacs. So offering up some concessions in that area to make important gains in other areas of energy and environmental policy just made sense. I thought so, anyway. Apparently, so did Pres. Obama.
And, after all, what could go wrong?