Odes to a dead emissions bill -- in 140 characters or less

Hundreds of people wrote obituaries today for the dead climate bill, and many did it in 140 characters.

Social networking site Twitter exploded with staccato commentaries after the Senate abandoned its summer plan to vote on a last-minute energy or climate bill. They came from people both mourning and rejoicing.

"Not surprised, but disappointed," tweeted a woman named Jodmentum, who describes herself as someone who likes progressive politics. "Dems drop Climate Bill like it was fifth period French."

There were tweets from politicians, including Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) who took credit for helping squash the legislation.

"Remember, Inhofe was the first to call capandtax dead. That was over a year ago," Inhofe's tweet said, linking to a June 26, 2009 article on Oklahoma's Countywide & Sun news site. That piece, published just after passage of the House climate bill, quotes Inhofe: "It doesn't matter because we'll kill it in the Senate anyway."


Several people blamed lawmakers, including one who lashed out at Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who announced yesterday that he lacked the votes to pass legislation with new climate policies.

"Harry Reid. You r a selfish human being, thank u for leaving our future compromised by not having enough [expletive] to commit to a climate bill," tweeted Ricardo Hamdan, who describes himself as a South Carolina resident working on carbon and renewables. He also tweeted a plea to former Vice President Al Gore: "Please do something! I can't believe our senators can't comprehend cap and trade. It is a proven system. Why are they so ignorant?"

Environmental groups lambasted the Senate.

"The Senate may as well have put out a "gone fishing" sign," read a post from National Resources Defense Council. "Americans want clean energy, green jobs & leadership, now is the time."

Some suggested ways Obama could persuade senators to bend to his will on climate.

"Obama should heat up the debate to about 95F/35C by switching off the air conditioning in the Senate," tweeted a man named Wallyhalla, who in his profile says that he lives in Alkmaar, the Netherlands.

Many people mentioned other countries moving ahead on climate issues, as did Jake Schmidt, international climate director for the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC).

"China to Start Carbon Trading While U.S. Senate Fiddles Around," Schmidt tweeted, linking to a post on his NRDC blog.

Many people tweeted a New York Times opinion piece from former Times reporter Andrew Revkin that laid some blame on President Obama.

"On a host of issues, Obama campaigned as a voice of reason, willing to listen to all views, amid all the polarized shouting," Revkin wrote. "But on climate and energy, he has not yet, apparently, found the strength to break free of the 20th-century-style left-right fight to forge a positive path that is true to the scope and time scale of the climate and energy challenge and could resonate with Americans."

The Nuclear Energy Institute, or NEI, a trade group for the nuclear power industry, found the news on a climate bill worthy of a link to Monty Python, attaching a video of the scene in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" where the Dead Collector calls "Bring out yer dead!" as he loads a body into a cart. In that scene, the body is not actually dead.

Others posted their reactions on social networking site Facebook.

"China gets $740 billion in energy investments AND a carbon price," wrote Josh Freed, director of the Clean Energy Initiative at Third Way, a progressive think tank. "Enjoy your Chinese-made wind turbines, nuke plants and solar panels." He linked to a New Republic piece on China's climate activities.

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