- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Supporters of climate-change legislation veered into the path of another liberal Senate priority during the weekend. The collision has left the strategy of the global-warming theocracy in pieces, at least for the moment.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, who collaborated with Democrats in crafting the energy-tax bill, bolted for the tall grass on Saturday just before yesterday’s planned unveiling of the long-anticipated climate-change measure, which had been dubbed the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill. The South Carolina Republican claimed to be upset at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for pushing ahead with plans for an equally unpopular immigration bill. Mr. Graham called Mr. Reid’s sudden decision to advance a bill that would grant legal status to millions of illegals a “cynical political ploy.”

The same can be said of Mr. Graham’s cooperation on dubious climate-change legislation, but Americans nonetheless can be grateful for the senator’s sudden ethical epiphany. Or perhaps he has simply awakened to the unpopularity of his handiwork. The ostensible purpose of the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill is to cut emissions of so-called greenhouse gases to clean the air, but the only likely outcome would be a reduction in the prosperity of the nation.

A new poll released by American Solutions, a grass-roots organization advocating more homegrown energy, last week revealed that 71 percent of Americans oppose the higher gas taxes that the climate-change bill would impose. Another 84 percent said they have very little confidence that the fuel tax would result in lower greenhouse gas emissions.

If these numbers aren’t enough to make members of Congress nervous, the poll also found that 64 percent of respondents are less likely to vote for a congressional candidate who backs a climate-change gas tax. At a projected cost of trillions of dollars, it’s easy to understand why Americans don’t want it, especially during the worst economy in generations.

The climate-change bill, which contains a version of the despised cap-and-trade mechanism for taxing carbon, aims to cut emissions of pollution-causing greenhouse gases 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. It also purports to expand domestic production of oil, natural gas and nuclear power. Those provisions sound nice, but recent delaying tactics by the Obama administration on the future of offshore drilling and the storage of nuclear waste cast doubt on prospects for more domestic energy production.

For his part, Mr. Reid apparently has decided that immigration reform, not climate change, is critical for survival - his own, that is. In the aftermath of Obamacare, the Senate majority leader’s poll numbers expose that he’s as overwhelmingly unpopular at home in Nevada as he is in the rest of the country. Bringing immigration reform front and center in the Senate is an attempt to galvanize the Hispanic vote in time to save his job on Election Day.

Over the past 15 months, taxpayers have become adept at finding the pea in the Democrats’ legislative shell game, and the climate bill has fooled no one. Many voters rightly have concluded that no matter what it’s called, the Kerry-Lieberman-Graham bill would simply mean higher energy costs. Steadfast opposition has sent Mr. Graham and Mr. Reid scampering in different directions.

As November looms, the president and his liberal cronies in Congress are left scrambling to pick up the pieces of their scheme to load new taxes onto the backs of hardworking Americans.

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