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Coal-state Dems Urge A Go-slower Approach

Darren Samuelsohn brings word that Waxman and Markey are postponing their markup of the House climate bill until next week, as the tussling among Dems over the guts of the legislation gets tense. Republicans, for their part, aren't even bothering to join in the talks; they're just praying for "mass chaos," as Rep. Joe Barton put it.

Now, it's too early to say it'll come to that, but the bickering over this bill won't be pretty. In particular, watch the energy committee's coal-state Democrats, led by Virginia's Rick Boucher, who are urging Waxman to relax the short-term emissions targets so that coal-heavy utilities will have more time to develop carbon-capture technology. They don't necessarily seem worried the targets for emission cuts are unrealistic on some macro level. Rather, they're concerned that the coal industry may play a much-diminished role in a low-carbon future if it's not given ample opportunity to adjust. The flipside, alas, is that most climate scientists don't think we have that sort of time to dally around.

--Bradford Plumer