Politico: 'Brown Dogs' complicate climate plan

President Barack Obama’s next big legislative priority — a comprehensive energy and climate bill — sits in limbo in no small part because of wavering senators from his own party.

About a dozen Democrats — from the Great Plains, Midwest, Appalachia and the South — continue to resist the idea of putting a cap on greenhouse gas emissions.

And despite months of legwork by the president’s Senate allies, few of these so-called Brown Dogs are biting. Election-year concerns, fueled by GOP labels of a “national energy tax” and public angst over expansive government, have many moderate Democrats holding tightly to the fence, unwilling to commit to the White House agenda when it comes to tackling global warming.

“I think it’s still a work in progress,” said Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, who worries that a cap would be a loser for Democrats in November. “You know, it took 50 years on health care.”

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