Within days, Majority Leader Harry Reid intends to bring sweeping energy and climate legislation to the Senate floor. He won't call it cap-and-trade or cap-tax-and-trade, and certainly not a carbon tax.
"Those words are not in my vocabulary," he says. "We're going to work on pollution."
Environmental euphemisms aside, however, the legislation is really about imposing national "low carbon fuel standards" (LCFS) and forcing dramatic reductions in the use of oil, natural gas and especially coal. It would expand on existing laws, regulations and decrees, like the Environmental Protection Agency's ruling that carbon dioxide somehow "endangers human health and welfare," EPA's June 30 invalidation of flexible air quality permits for Texas refineries, Interior Secretary Salazar's offshore drilling moratorium, multiple state and federal renewable energy standards and mandates, and various state and regional "greenhouse gas initiatives" that restrict emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.