That is the question posed this week on National Journal’s energy experts’ blog. My answer, available here, is that “failure” will have multiple benefits:
— The U.S. economy won’t be hit by virtual or outright energy taxes in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, improving prospects for a recovery.
— Congress will not declare political warfare on coal, continuing America’s access to abundant, affordable base-load power.
— Congress will not adopt carbon tariffs, avoiding an era of trade warfare between the United States and emerging industrial powerhouses such as China and India.
— The U.S. Government will lack a bully pulpit for pressuring poor countries to ban coal-based power, allowing them to escape from energy poverty.