Defying conventional wisdom that a hardened partisan divide and looming midterm elections will prevent the type of compromises necessary for big reforms, business leaders and environmentalists are redoubling their efforts to advance an energy and climate bill in the Senate.
It’s a seemingly improbable goal, but upending that way of thinking is one of the objectives of a Capitol Hill lobbying blitz launched last week by executives from nearly 200 large and small companies. A dozen CEOs — including Shell Oil’s Marvin Odum, Duke Energy’s Jim Rogers and NRG Energy’s David Crane — are scheduled to meet with lawmakers and administration officials Tuesday.
…In addition, the shift in emphasis in the debate to job creation — an issue that better fits the voters’ top priorities — could make an energy and climate bill more appealing. White House officials point to job expansions in the clean energy industry spurred by last year’s stimulus bill as a rare bright spot in the still sluggish economy.