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Bill Radke: On Capitol Hill today, Al Franken will be sworn in as the Democratic senator from Minnesota, after eight months of counting and recounting ballots
in his close race. That’s important because Democrats now have 60 votes, and every vote will count this week as senators begin work on the climate change bill. From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk,
Sarah Gardner reports.
Sarah Gardner: Senate passage of a climate change bill will be even tougher because of the Senate rule that allows a minority to block a vote by filibuster.
Frank O’Donnell at Clean Air Watch:
Frank O’Donnell: Because of the filibuster threat, the bill in the Senate will be no better than the views of the 60th senator, because it may take 60 votes to break a filibuster.
O’Donnell expects intense pressure in the Senate to water down the greenhouse gas reduction targets. There also could be fireworks if senators try to include a trade clause already in the House bill. It imposes tariffs on goods from countries that don’t regulate greenhouse gases.
Chelsea Henderson Maxwell was a climate advisor to former Senator John Warner of Virginia:
Chelsea Henderson Maxwell: You could end up having a little trade war on the floor of the free traders versus the non-free traders. It’ll add an interesting dynamic to a debate that’s really about energy.
The Senate Finance committee takes up that issue tomorrow.
I’m Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.