Betting Against Climate Change Legislation and the Most Important Week Ever

While global investors -- and their $14 trillion -- pen their support for climate change legislation, there are still plenty of folks out there betting against the bill.

American Petroleum Institute President Jack Gerard is one of those ready to toss his chips into the pot. Valero Energy CEO Bill Klesse, whose refining company quite possibly has the most to lose, has already placed his bet.

Both are convinced the Waxman-Markey bill, which passed the House earlier this summer, will not be approved by the U.S. Senate. Gerard said earlier this week that popular opposition to the bill is growing and noted an increasing number of senators are wary of the House measure.

Gerard is basing the "popular opposition" on attendance at 20 public rallies organized by API. The so-called Energy Citizens rallies were characterized by its critics as an astroturf or fake grassroots campaign as word spread that API had asked its members -- namely oil and gas companies -- to encourage their employees to attend the rallies.

All of these betting folks -- both for and against -- are likely keeping a close eye on a series of high-level global government meetings that kick off this week.

The outcome of these meetings -- Climate Week NY°C and the G20 summit that follows -- could provide positive momentum in the lead up to the UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen. Or it could derail attempts to combat climate change, the AFP notes.

Why are these meetings deemed so important? Imagine the largest organizations and businesses; as well as 100 world leaders all coming together to discuss the politically sticky issue and costly prospect of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For good measure, add in some public events and global media coverage to raise awareness. Then head on over to Pittsburgh, where President Obama will chair a meeting of leaders from around the world that represent 85 percent of the global economy.

With the Senate's legislative window closing and the Copenhagen conference approaching, few will leave the outcome up to chance even if the odds seem to be swaying their favor.

Which can only mean one thing: lobbying efforts directed towards lawmakers, governments and the public will rise right along with the stakes.