Aside from Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, climate legislation is in the topic du jour in Congress. The battle has pit two heavyweights against one another, and the winner could determine the fate of related exchange traded funds (ETFs).
The Waxman-Markey bill rode through the House and is now in the Senate. Two major industries are fixed against one another in an effort to sway lawmakers in order to get some “goodies” for themselves in any legislation.
The two power sources are coal and natural gas. While coal is leading the push, thanks to heavy lobbying, natural gas executives are forming a strategy to influence rewrites in the Senate, explains Anne C. Mulkern for The New York Times.
Natural gas is lagging behind its competitors as coal supporters have been talking to senators and aides for months, with their contacts becoming more frequent since the House bill passed. Coal lobbyists want to slow down the pace of the House measure’s plan to cap greenhouse gas emissions and make businesses buy allowances for those emissions.
Natural gas has the added obstacle of competing with the utility industry, which has been active in lobbying legislation. Utilities have a solid reason to favor coal, however, both natural gas and coal are represented in the utility industry. Which commodity can sway in terms of public relations will be determined.