Quid Pro Quo


It seems that Democratic congressional leaders are not so interested in what I think and thus are plowing ahead with plans to press for federal aid to auto companies.

The general misguidedness of this aside, it seems to me that one should at least be looking for some kind of political quid pro quo here. Right now in the House of Representatives there’s a looming battle between Henry Waxman and the incumbent Chair of the House Energy and Commerce committee. The battle lines are being drawn along liberal/moderate lines at the moment, but historically Dingell’s been a pretty solidly progressive legislator. But he’s also from Michigan. And like a lot of Michigan legislators, he’s reluctant to endorse climate change legislation that is seen as bad by influential home state industries. Now I don’t care who gets to chair the committee at the end of the day, but I really do care about taking action on carbon emissions as soon as possible. It seems to me that it’s a mistake for the leadership to do a huge favor to the auto industry, to Michigan, and to Michigan-based politicians while at the same time the industry is lobying against key leadership priorities on energy and the environment.