And You Wonder Why People Don’t Respect Lobbyists?

Dick Gephardt (photo from Gephardt Group)

Dick Gephardt (photo from Gephardt Group)

A cap-and-trade bill was defeated in Australia yesterday.  As the New Republic points out (here), it’s not clear that this is anything more than a temporary setback.

An interesting sidelight, however, concerns the sources of the opposition — some of which are U.S.-based:

Incidentally, one of the largest, most influential opponents of the Australian bill was U.S. coal behemoth Peabody Energy, whose CEO Gregory Boyce seems to think global warming is all hokum and is betting big on dirty coal’s continued viability. For that matter, Peabody’s been hyperactive in the U.S. climate debate, too, spending more than $10 million lobbying Congress over the last two years, including $780,000 for Dick Gephardt to stalk the halls of Capitol Hill, presumably preaching the virtues of coal.

Gephardt voted in favor of implementing Kyoto and for an ambitious hybrid car program.  (here)

But of course, that was then; this is now.