Climate Groups Look to Avoid Health Care Repeat

But administration reluctant to push climate legislation this year
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 21, 2009 8:20 AM CDT
Participants at an Energy Citizens rally outside of the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska, to protest climate change legislation, Aug. 31, 2009.   (AP Photo/Al Grillo, file)

(Newser) – Environmental groups are struggling to convince Democrats that the fight for cap-and-trade legislation won’t be as damaging as the one over health care, and to keep them from punting on the issue, Politico reports. Climate supporters say they have a grass-roots network in place that health care reformers didn’t, including a “climate war room” funded by more than 60 labor, faith, agriculture, and environmental groups. But White House advisers say they’re reluctant to try another tough vote this year.

A senior congressional Democrat thinks the Senate vote on climate won’t come until early 2010. “We can’t make people walk the plank again this fall,” he said. “I think it would be detrimental to climate change to jam it through.” But environmentalists aren’t in a mood to wait, afraid to give the opposition time to foment a health care-esque fervor.